Index talk:Transactions of the Second International Folk-Congress.djvu

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^ap^rs mh Stransartinits.




Published for the Organising Committee by DAVID NUTT, 270-271, STRAND, LONDON.





List OF Committees AND GuARANTOKs . . . vii

Introduction . . . xiii

Minutes (comprising List of International Folk-Lore Council) . xxiv

Andrew Lang. — Presidential Address . . . . i


E. Sidney Hartland. — Chairman's Address . . • '5

W. W. Newell.— Lajy Featherflight, an inedited Folk-tale 40 Discussion . . . . .65 Emmanuel Cosquin. — Quelques Observations sur les " Incidents com-

muns aux Contes Europeens et aux Contes Orientaux' . . 67 Joseph Jacobs. — The Science of Folk-Tales and the Problem of

Diffusion . .... 76 Appendix. List of Folk-Tale Incidents common to European Folk- tales, with Bibliographical References, and Map . . 87 Discussion ..... 99 David MacRitchie.— The Historical Aspect of Folk-Lore 103 Discussion . . . no Alfred Nutt. — Problems of Heroic Legend . . 113 Ilmari Krohn. — La Chanson Populaire en Finlande . . 135


(Myth, Ritual, and Magic.)

Prof. John Rhys. — Chairman's Address . . 143

Charles Ploix. — I.e Mythe de I'Odyssee . . . i6r Charles G. Leland. — Etrusco-Roman Remains in Modern Tuscan

Tradition . 185

Discussion . . . 20l

W. R. Paton. — The Holy Names ol the Eleusinian Priests . . 202

Appendix ..... 212

J. S. Stuart-Glennie. — -The Origins of Mythology . . 215

Discussion .... . 226

Miss Mary A. Owen. — Among the Voodoos 230

Discussion ...... 248

J. E. Crombie. — The Saliva Superstition . . 249



Sir FREDERicii Pollock, Bart. — Chairman's Address . .261

Dr. M. Winternitz. — On a Comparative Study of Indo-Europtan

Customs, with special reference to the Mirris-ge Customs . 267

Discussion . . ... 289

r. HlNDiS Groome. — The Influence of the Gypsies on the Super- stitions of the English Folk .... 292

Discussion ... . . 308

C. L. TUPPER. — Indian Institutions and Feudalism . . 309 Prof. F. B. Jevons. — The Testimony of P"oik-Lore to the European

or Asiatic Origin of the Aryans .... 322

G. Laurence Gomme. — The Non-Aryan Origin of Agricultural

Institutions . . . 348

Discussion ...... 356

J. S. Stuart-Glennie. — The Origins of Institutions . . 357

A. W. Moore. —The Tinwald . . . 379


Dk. E. B. Tylor. — Exhibition of Charms and Amulets

Discussion . . • . .

Hon. Lady Welby. — The Significauce of Folk-Lore Hugh Nevill. — Sinhalese Folk-Lore W. F. Kirey. — On the Progress of Folk-Lore Collections in Esthonia,

with special reference to the work of Pastor Jacob Hurt . Ella de Schoultz-Adaiewsky. — Courtes Notices sur le lea Dr. G

j. schoultz . ...

Catalogue of Exhibits .... Programme of Entertainment Index ....

387 394 395 408


430 433 461



Organising Cominiitee.

Chairman — G. L. Vice-Cha ir-rnan — Hon. John Abeecromby. G. L. Apperson. The Right Hon. the EarlBeauchamp,

F.S.A. Walter Besant, M.A. Karl Blind. W. G. Black. Edward W. Brabrook, F.S.A,, Sec.

R.S.L. J. Britten.

Rev. Stopford A. Brooke. Dr. Robert Brown, F.L.S. Miss C. S. Burne. Miss Roalfe Cox. J. G. Frazer, M.A. Rev. Dr. Gaster. Professor A. C. Haddon. Rev. Walter Gregor.

Gomme, F.S.A. C. G. Leland.

E. Sidney Hartland, F.S.A. A. Granger Hutt, F.S.A. Joseph Jacobs, B.A.


W. F. KiRBY, F.L.S., F.E.S.

J. Stewart Lockhart.

The Right Hon. Sir John Lubbock,

Bart., F.R.S., M.P. Alfred Nutt. T. Faieman Oedish, F.S.A. Lieut. -Gen. PiTT-RiVERS, D.C.L.,

F.R.S., F.S.A. Professor Rhys, M.A. Professor A. H. S.\yce, M.A. Major R. C. Temple. John Tolhurst.

Edward B. Tylor, LL.D., F.R.S. Henry B. Wheatley, F.S.A.

Hon. Treasurer— 'Edvia^d Clodd, 19, Carleton Road, Tufnell Park, London, N. Hon. Secretary — J. J. Foster, Offa House, Upper Tooting, London, S.W.

Executive Coimnittee.

Chairman — G. L. Gomme, F.S.A.

Officers of Organising Committee, ex officio

E. W. Brabrook.

W. F. KiRBY. T. F. Ordish.

Hon. Sccrefarv-

J. Jacobs. .\. Nutt. H. B. Wheatley. -J. J. Foster.

Literary Committee.

Chairman — Joseph Jacobs, B.A.

Officers of Organising Committee, ex officio.

Dr. R. Brown. i E. S. Hartland.

J. G. Frazer. I Sir J. Lubbock.

Rev. Dr. Gaster. | E. B. Tylor.

Hon. Seci-etarv — Alfred Nutt.


International Folk-lore Congress, 1891.

Miss BUENE. J. J. Foster. J, P. Emslie.

Reception and Entertainment Committee.

Chairman — T. Fairman Oedish, F.S.A. J. F. Green. Miss Laura A. Smith. Dr. Balmanno Squire.

Hon. Secretmy — Mrs. GoMME.

List of Guarantors.

Abercromby, Hon, J. Apperson, G. L. Arnold, E. V. Bain, T. G. Barclay, Miss Isabella. Bernfes, Prof. Henri. Beauchamp, late Earl. Brabrook, Edward. Brown, Dr. Robert. Brueyre, Loys. Clodd, Edward. Cox, Miss Roalfe. Curtis, James. Fahie, J. J. Foster, J. J. Frazer, J. G. Fry, T. C. Gaster, Rev. Dr. Gibbs, H. H. Gladstone, Dr. J. H. Gosselin, Hellier. Gomme, G. L. Green, Frank. Haddon, Prof. A. C. Hannah, Robert.

Hartland, E. Sidney. Hewitt, J. F. Jacobs, Joseph. Jones, Judge D. B. Kirby, W. F. Lang, Andrew. Leland, Charles G. Lindsay, Lady. Lockhart, J. H. Stewart. Lbwy, Rev. A. Lubbock, Sir John, Bart. Mac Ritchie, D. McLagan, R. Craig. Mackinlay, Dr. Mond, Mrs. F. Nutt, Alfred. Powis, late Earl of. Pocklington-Coltman, Mrs. Rowley, Walter. Sayce, Prof. A. H. Stock, Elliot. Taylor, Miss Helen. Temple, Major R. C. Tolhurst, J.

International Folk-lore Congress, 1891.



Abercromby, Hon. John. Adams, Mrs. N. M. Alma-Tadema, L., R.A. Andrews, J. B. Apperson, G. L. Arnold, E. V. Atkinson, G. M. Auden, The Rev. Thomas. Auden, Miss.

Bag-ley, Mrs. J. J. Bain, T. G. Balfour, Mrs. M. C. Banks, A. Rae. Barclay, Miss Isabella. Bauerman, H. Bauerman, Miss. Bern^s, Henri. Besant, Walter. Black, W. George. Blanch, W. Harnett. BHmont, Emile. Blind, Karl. Bliss, Frank E. Bogisic, V.

Bonaparte, Prince Roland. Bourdillon, F. W. Brabrook, Edward \\'. Britten, James. Brown, Dr. Robert. Browne, J. Brueyre, Loys. Burne, Miss C. S. Burne-Jones, E., A. R.A. Busk, Miss R. H.

Campbell, Lord Archibald. Carmichael, A. Carmichael, C. H. E.

Certeux, A.

Cesaresco Martinengo, Countess.

Clarke, Dr. Hyde.

Clodd, Edward.

Clouston, W. A.

Cochrane, Robert.

Codrington, Rev. R. H.

Corbet, F. H^ M.

Cordier, Henri.

Courtney, Miss M. A.

Cow, Mrs. D.

Cox, Mrs.

Cox, Miss Roalfe.

Crane, T. F.

Crombie, James C.

Crombie, J. W.

Crooke, \Vm.

Curtis, James.

Danson, J. T. Davidson, Thomas. Dempster, Miss Helen. Dempster, Miss C. L. H. Dendy, Miss Mary. D'Estournelles, Baron de Con- stant. Dragomanov, Professor. Dyer, Louis.

Emslie, J. P. Evans, H. B. Evans, Dr. John. Evans, E. Vincent

Fahie, J. J. Ffennell, Miss M. C. Fleury, Prof Jean. Foster, J. J. Foster, Mrs,

International Folk-lore Congress, 1891.

Frazer, J. G. Fry, Rev. T. C.

Garnett, Miss Lucy. Gaster, Rev. Dr. Gibbs, H. H. Girard de Rialle, M. Gladstone, Dr. J. H. -Godden, Miss G. M. Gomme, G. Laurence. Gomme, Mrs. G. Laurence. Gosselin, Hellier. Green, Frank. Gregory, Herbert E. Greig, Andrew. Groome, Francis H. Gutch, Mrs.

Haddon, Prof. A. C. Hales, Prof. J. W. Haliburton, R. G. Hannah, R. Hardy, G. F. Harris, Miss E. M. Hartland, E. Sidney. Hartland, Mrs. E. Sidney. Herbertson, J. T. Hewitt, J. F. Higgens, T. W. E. Holden, E. B. Hutchinson, J. Hutt, A. Grainger.

Jacobs, Joseph.

Jones, His Honour Judge Bryn-

m6r. Jones, Professor T. R. Joyce, T. Heath.

Kane, R. R., LL.D. Kane, Mrs. R. R. Karlowicz, J. Kirby, W. F. Kirby, Mrs. W. F.

Kroff, Herr. Krohn, Dr. Kaarle. Krohn, Ilmari.

Lach-Szyrma, The Rev. W. S.

Lang, Andrew, M.A. President.

Leathes, F. de M.

Leitner, Dr.

Leiand, C. G., President Gipsy -

lore Society. Lindsay, Lady. Lindsay, W. A. Lloyd, Miss. Lloyd, Miss L. C. Lockhart, J. H. Stewart. Logie, Mrs. D. W. Lowy, The Rev. A. Lubbock, Rt. Hon. Sir John,

Bart., M.P.

Mackinlay, D. Maclagan, Dr. R. C. MacLean, G. E. MacRitchie, David. Matthews, Miss. McAlister, J. G. W. McCarthy, Justin Huntly, M.P. McCorkell, G. McCormick, Rev. F. H. J. Milne, Frank A. Mond, Mrs. Frida. Monseur, Prof. Eug. Moore, A. W. Murray-Aynsley, Mrs. Murray-Aynsley, Mr.

Naake, J. T. Nelson, Wm. Neville, Lady Dorothy. Nevill, Hugh. Newell, Prof. W. \V. Nutt, Alfred. Nutt, Mrs. Nutt, Miss L. M.

I nternatio7ial Folk-lore Congress, 1801.


O'Neill, John. Ordish, T. F. Oswald, Dr. E. Owen, E. Owen, Miss Mary A.

Perkins, H. W.

Pineau, Leon.

Ploix, Charles, President dc la

Societe des Traditions Popu-

laires. Pocklington-Coltman, Mrs. Pollock, Sir Fredk., Bart. Power, D'Arcy. Powis, late Earl of. Prato, Dr. S. Pusey, S. E. B. Bouverie.

Rae, Dr.

Rae, Mrs.

Rawson, Sir Rawson N., C.B.,

K.C.M.G. Read, General Meredith. Read, C. H. Reade, John. Rendle, Mrs. H. \V. Rhys, Prof. John. Rowley, Walter.

Sayce, Prof. A. H. S^billot, Paul. Sheppard, W. F. Skilbeck, J. A. Skilbeck, Mrs. J. A. Smith, Miss Laura A. Smith, Miss Toulmin.

Squire, Dr. Balmanno. Starry, Mrs. Stephens, Rev. W. R. Stock, Elliot. Stokes, Whitley. Stuart-Glennie, J. S. Styer, \N . B. Swainson, Rev. C. Swain, Ernest.

Taylor, Miss Helen. Tcheraz, Professor. Temple, Major R. C. Thompson, Alton H. Tolhurst, John. Topley, Wm., F.R.S. Tupper, C. L. TurnbuU, A. H. Tyler, Dr. E. B.

Valentine, Dr. F. C. Vizetelly, Miss Annie.

Wakefield, Miss A. M. Walhouse, M. J. Walker, General W. B. Waterman, A. N. Webster, Rev. Wentworth. Welby, Hon. Lady. Wheatiey, H. B. Wintemitz, Dr. M. Wood, R. H., F.S.A. Woollcombe, R. L., LL.D. Wright, A. R.

Wyegooneratur Rajepakse, Mudaliyar T. D. N. de Abress.



^cconli international JPolk=lLare Congress.


History of the Congress.

At the close of the first International Folk-lore Congress, held at Paris in August 1889, the following " vceu" was formulated : " Que des congres internationaux de traditions populaires se reunissent tous les deux ou trois ans et que la prochaine reunion se tienne a Londres." Mr. Charles Leland accepted the task of formally bringing this motion before the Folk-lore Society, and of taking the necessary steps to organise the next Congress.

Mr. Leland placed himself in communication with the Council of the Folk-lore Society, and met with imme- diate and ready response to his appeal, that its members should, individually and collectively, interest themselves in the organisation of the forthcoming Congress. Pre- liminary meetings were held in the spring of 1890, at which the date of the meeting was agreed upon and an Organising Committee was appointed, a list of whose members will be found on p. vii of this volume.

The Organising Committee met for the first time in July 1890, and continued meeting until the 4th of Febru- ary 1 89 1, by which time the main outlines of the Congress had been laid down, the details being left to be worked out by the sub-committees. A substantial guarantee-fund was raised (a list of the guarantors will be found p. viii), and sufficient adhesions secured to ensure the material

xiv Introduction.

success of the Congress. This result was obtained by re- peated circulars addressed to members of all known folk-lore societies, to the Gipsy-lore Society, to the Anthropological Society, to the Society of Antiquaries, as well as by direct invitation to all scholars whose line of research in any ways touched folk-lore studies.

The Organising Committee was also fortunate enough to secure the active countenance and support of Mr. Andrew Lang, then President of the Folk-lore Society. Mr. Lang was nominated to the Presidentship of the Congress, a position to which his eminence as a man of letters and his acknowledged leadership among English folk-lorists fully entitled him, and in which he was able to render invaluable service.

Sub-committees were appointed, the list of which will be found on p. vii.

From the first it was felt desirable by the members of the Organising Committee that one of the outcomes of the Congress should be the constitution of a permanent body representing all schools of folk-lore research and all exist- ing folk-lore organisations. This International Folk-lore Council should, it was suggested, be elected by each Con- gress, and remain in office from one Congress to another. In addition to serving as a bond of union between scholars scattered all over the world, and acting as a final court of appeal in all folk-lore matters, its special function should be the material and scientific organisation of the next Congress. It was therefore resolved to submit to the Congress a list of names, as representative as possible, for election to the proposed Council ; and it was further re- solved to take the Coniite de Patronage and the Comite d' Organisation of the first Congress as the basis of such a list. Numerous names were added, and the list, as finally voted by the Congress, will be found on pp. xxiv-xxv. It is necessary to place on record one fact connected with this list. Among the members of the Comity de Patronage of the first Congress was Dr. Ed. Veckenstedt, editor of

History of the Congress. xv

the Zeitsclirift fur Volkskunde. Grave charges had been made in the interval, implicating the good faith as well as the scholarship of this gentleman. The Organising Com- mittee felt that they could not recommend Dr. Vecken- stedt as a fit person for election to the proposed Council until these charges had been satisfactorily answered. He was asked to publish his answer in Folk-Lore, the official organ of the Folk-lore Society, as being the medium by which it would most readily reach the majority of the Congress members. A lengthy correspondence ensued, which ended in Dr. Veckenstedt's declining a nomination to the proposed Council — not, however, until a statement (the source of which it was not possible to trace) had gone the round of the German press to the effect that he had been appointed " honorary patron of the Congress".

The Executive Committee began its labours in March. The appointment of Chairmen of Sections, the carrying into effect of the recommendations made by the Literary and the Entertainment Committees, the organisation of an Exhibition of Folk4ore Objects, necessitated frequent and lengthened meetings ; and it was only by dint of strenuous labour on the part of all concerned that the final arrangements were completed in time and satisfac- torily.

It will be universally felt that the Executive Com- mittee was as fortunate in its choice of sectional Chairmen as the Organising Committee had been in its choice of a President. The pages of this volume afford, indeed, but a faint idea of the services rendered to the Congress by the scholars who accepted the post, services which will be gratefully remembered by all who took part in the Con- gress.

To the Reception and Entertainments Committee was allotted the task of making the necessary arrangements for the comfort of foreign and country members whilst in town. There gradually fell to its share all that belonged to the social side of the Congress. A committee of ladies

xvi Introduction.

was formed, with Mrs. Gomme as Secretary, to carry into effect schemes felt to be of great interest to members of the Congress ; one of these, due to Mrs. Gomme, and to the reaUsation of which she devoted herself with unweary- ing ardour, was the collection of as complete a series as possible of English local and festival cakes ; another was a conversazione designed to practically illustrate items of English folk-custom and fancy. The Committee was fortunate enough to secure the aid of Miss Burne, a name honoured by all who care for English folk-lore, and it is not easy to overrate the value of the aid she freely gave. The programme of the Conversazione, held at the Mercers' Hall by the courtesy of the Warden and Governors of the Mercers' Company, printed on p. 461, represents very inefficiently the amount of work done by the Entertainment Committee, to which the arrangements for the Congress dinner were likewise entrusted, and upon members of which fell the task of collecting, cataloguing, and orderly disposing the objects sent for the Exhibition. This was decided upon almost at the eleventh hour, and but for the ready response of members — chief among them Miss Burne, Mr. Leland, and Miss Matthews — and for the help given by Professor Haddon, could not have been success- fully carried through. As it was, numerous articles of extreme interest were for the first time brought to the notice of many students. The more important numbers will be found in the catalogue compiled by the Chairman of the Entertainment Committee, Mr. Ordish {infra, p. 433), whilst the pencil of Mr. Emslie, an indefatigable worker on the same Committee, has preserved a permanent record of the most important articles. For the English folk-lorist, the series of " necks or " harvest-babies" was perhaps of most interest.

Mention may fittingly be made here of the visit to Oxford, the charm of which, thanks to the gracious hos- pitality of Mr. Lang and Prof. Rhys, will be a lasting possession to all members of the Congress who were privileged to take part in it. The majority of those

The Scientific Work of the Congress. xvii

present made acquaintance for the first time with the treasures appertaining to our study preserved at the Pitt- Rivers iVIuseum, the significance and importance of which were so convincingly set forth by Dr. Tylor.

The Members of the Congress were likewise indebted to Miss Dempster, the collector of Sutherlandshire folk-lore, for her reception of them at her house.

Thanks to the labours of the various committees the social interest of the Congress was brilliantly assured, and it may be affirmed that never before was the subject of folk-lore brought so prominently or so sympathetically before the public. It were ungracious not to acknowledge the liberal space accorded by the press to the Congress proceedings, or the marked fulness and accuracy of the reports. Mr. Stuart, of the National Observer and Anti- Jacobin staff, kindly made himself the medium of commu- nication between the Congress officials and his colleagues of the press, and his services were as appreciated on the one as on the other side.

This brief record of the circumstances connected with the initiation and organisation of the Congress will not, we trust, be deemed out of place. Before closing it one further acknowledgment must be made. Great as was the work that fell to the share of the active members of the Committee, eager as was the zeal of all, it may well be imagined that the burden was heaviest upon the Chair- man and the Secretary of the Executive Committee. To Mr. Gomme and to Mr. Foster, more than to any other men, belongs the credit of having by their energy and persistent labour assured the material success of the Congress.

The Scientific Work of the Congress.

The present volume, full record as it is of what the Congress has accomplished for the advancing of our study, may be described as more especially the outcome of the labours of the Literary Sub-Committee, which set to work


xviii Introduction.

immediately after its institution in September 1890. Full programmes, drawn up by Mr. Edward Clodd and by the editors of the present volume, were submitted to and discussed by the Organising Committee, and were finally embodied in the subjoined report, printed in Folk-Lore of Jan. 1891 : —

" That the work of the Congress be divided over the five working-days, Thursday, Oct. i, to Tuesday, Oct. 6, 1891, thus : On Thursday, Oct. i, the Congress to meet in the afternoon to hear the President's Address, and to elect the officers of the Congress, viz., the Presidents of the Sections, the (European) Folk-lore Council, and a Special Committee on methodology, which shall meet out of Con- gress hours, but report progress on the last day of Congress.

" The Sub-Committee recommend that the Congress be divided into three major Sections : (i) Folk-tales and Songs ; (ii) Myth and Ritual ; (iii) Custom and Institution ; and they recommend that Mr. E. Sidney Hartland, F.S.A., Prof J. Rhys, and Sir Frederick Pollock, Bart., be requested to preside over these sections respectively, and that Prof. T. F. Crane be asked to preside over the Methodological Committee.

" It seems desirable that each section shall meet on a separate day, at which papers shall be read devoted to questions connected with that section. The Committee recommend that under each section the papers and dis- cussions should be taken, as far as possible, in chrono- logical or logical order, dealing in turn with the relations of the subject — Tales, Myths, or Customs, in their present phases — to those of savage, oriental, classical, and medi- aeval times and conditions.

" It is suggested that the papers, so far as practicable, should serve to test a conception now widely held, espe- cially among English folk-lorists and anthropologists — the conception, namely, of the homogeneity of contemporary folk-lore with the earliest manifestations of man's activity

Tlie Scientific Work of the Congress. xix

as embodied in early records of religion (myth and cult), institutions, and art (including literary art).

" Thus, on the day devoted to Folk-tales, it is hoped that papers and discussions will be forthcoming on the Incidents common to European and Savage Folk-tales — Ancient and Modern Folk-tales of the East, their relations to one another, and to the Folk-tales of Modern Europe — Traces of Modern Folk-tales in the Classics — Incidents common to Folk-tales and Romances — The Recent Origin of Ballads — The Problem of Diffusion.

" On the day devoted to Myth and Ritual such subjects may be discussed as : The present condition of the Solar Theory as applied to Myths — Modern Teutonic Folk-lore and the Eddas — Primitive Philosophy in Myth and Ritual — Sacrifice Rituals and their meaning — Survivals of Myths in Modern Legend and Folk-lore — Witchcraft and Hypnot- ism — Ancestor-Worship and Ghosts — Charms, their Origin and Diffusion.

" On the day devoted to Custom and Institution it is suggested that some of the following topics be discussed : Identity of Marriage Customs in Remote Regions — Burial Customs and their Meaning — Harvest Customs among the Celtic and Teutonic populations of Great Britain — The Testimony of Folk-lore to the European or Asiatic Origin of the Aryans — The Diffusion of Games — The Borrowing Theory applied to Custom.

" Besides those papers, and others that may be suggested by members of the Congress, each day it is proposed shall open with a Presidental Address from the Chairman of the Section.

" Thus four out of the five days being accounted for, it only remains to determine the work of the last day. This, it is suggested, should be taken up with the Reports of the Methodological Committee, appointment of Com- mittees of the International Folk-lore Council, and on special points to be brought before the next Congress. Besides this, it is hoped that arrangements may be made

b 2

XX introduction.

by which a conference may be held on this day between the Congress and the Anthropological Institute, to settle the relative spheres of inquiry between Folk-lore and Anthropology. Also it is anticipated that a detailed account of the Helsingfors Folk-lore Collection will be forthcoming, as well as descriptions of the Folk-lore sub- jects of interest at the Ashmolean and the British Museum."

This report thus brought before all the readers of Folk- Lore, including, of course, all members of the Folk-lore Society, the scientific aims of the Congress organisers. Numerous papers were promised by intending members. But the Committee were not content to appeal solely to professed folk-lorists. Recognising that the problems of Folk-lore are in large measure those of anthropologists, of comparative mythologists, and of students of literary his- tory, direct application was made to many scholars at home, on the Continent, and in America, to whom the Congress would otherwise probably have remained unknown. A selection was made of the papers sent in, and the pro- gramme on the opposite page was drawn up.

When the brief space allowed for the preparation of papers is considered, it will, we think, be conceded that the scheme of discussion and research embodied in the Com- mittee's Report was realised in as full a measure as pos- sible, and it will also, we trust, be recognised that the papers brought together in this volume form a valuable contribution to the elucidation of the problems enumerated in the report. The most serious omission is that of any study upon the ballad poetry of Western Europe. The Committee can only express its unfeigned regret that the application made to M. Gaston Paris and to his dis- tinguished pupil, M. Jeanroy, to expound the theory of the origin and diffusion of ballads, due to the former, was, though through no lack of sympathy on the part of either scholar, unsuccessful. The editors venture to hope that the ballad-question may receive due attention at the next

The Scientific Work of the Congress.

c o



1 g


LadyWELBY: Significance

of Folk-lore. H. Nevill : Classification

of Cingalese Folk-lore. W. F. KiRBY. Report on

Fsthonian Folk-lore.

E o




1 C

Presidential Address by Prof Sir FREDERICK Pollock, Bart.

Dr. E. WiNTERNITZ: Ar- yan Marriage Customs.

F. HiNDES GrOOME : Gipsy Influence on Folk- custom.

C. L. Tupper : Indian Institutions and Feu- dalism.

F. B, Jevons : Aryan Origins, as Illustrated by Folk-lore.

G. L. GOMME: Non- Aryan Elements in British Institutions.

J.Stuart-Glknnie: The Origins of Institutions.

A. W. Moore : Notes on the Tyne-ioald.


O o

Presidential Address by Prof J. Rhys, of Ox- ford.

C. Ploix, Le Mythe de I'Odyssee.

C. G. Leland : Etruscan Magic.

Dr. E. B. Tylor : Charms and Amulets.

W. R. Paton : Holy iXames of the Priests in the Eleusinian Mys- teries.

J. Stuart-Glennie: The Origins of Mythology.

Miss Owen : Voodoo Magic.

E. S. Hartland: The Sin-Eater.

J. E. Crombie : Saliva Charms


a „

Presidential Address by E. Sidney Hartland, F.S.A.

W. W. Newell: Lady Feather Flight, an in- edited English Folk- tale.

E. CoSQUiN : Quelques observations siir les in- cidents commiins aux contes orientau.v cf euro- peens.

J. Jacobs : The Problem of Diffusion.

D. MacRitCHIE : His- torical Basis of Folk- tales.

A. Nutt : Problems of Heroic Legend.

Ilmari Krohn : La musiquc populaire en Finlande.

1 1 a.m. to I p.m. Morning,

2.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. Afternoon, I

xxii Introduction.

Congress. Regret must also be expressed that the date fixed for the Congress, coinciding as it did with the begin- ning of the academic winter semester in Germany and America, rendered it impossible for several scholars to accept the Committee's invitation.

We nevertheless claim that most departments of folk- lore research have been touched and illuminated. In the burning question of folk-tale diffusion issue has rarely been joined by the opposing schools with greater definite- ness. The papers of Mr. Gomme, of Mr. Jevons, and of Dr. Winternitz will be acknowledged as distinct contribu- tions to the solution of the vexed questions connected A\ith the primitive home and early civilisation of the Aryan- speaking peoples. Mr. Stuart-Glennie has attacked the problem of origins in a way that must stimulate thought and provoke discussion even where it fails to command assent. Mr. Paton and Mr. Leland illustrated the con- tinuity of rude thought and practice in a most striking manner. The latter's paper was, indeed, using the word in no invidious sense, the most sensational of those laid before the Congress. It demands the earnest attention of classical mythologists as wftW as of Italian folk-lorists. The mention of this paper recalls Dr. Tylor's viva voce exposition of the significance of his collection of charms. Many present felt this to be an epoch-making contribution to the archsEological side of folk-lore. Those, it might be, who could hardly credit the preservation in modern Tus- cany of Etruscan god-names and local ritual vouched for by Mr. Leland, were confronted by Dr. Tylor with the tangible preservation of form in the amulets of Southern Italy throughout a period extending over at least 3,000 years. Nor, as the papers of Miss Owen and Mr. F. H. Groome will show, was that comprehension of and sym- pathetic insight into the feelings of the folk, to which our study must always be indebted for the chief part of our material, without their witness at the Congress. Finally, the problem of the connection between legal and political

The Scientific Work of the Congress. xxiii

institutions and existing foltc-lore, of how far the latter may enable us to recover prehistoric phases of the former, was definitely raised, and suggestions were thrown out that cannot fail to stimulate research and open up new lines of inquiry. The Literary Committee deems itself fortunate in having secured the aid of a distinguished Indian civil servant in the elucidation of these questions ; it trusts that Mr. Tupper's example may bear good fruit, and that at the next Congress many papers will be forth- coming upon the legal and social customs of the less advanced races. It is, indeed, in the department of Insti- tutions, at once less worked at and perhaps more capable of allowing definite conclusions to be reached than in those of folk-belief and folk-fancy, that the most important contributions to knowledge may be looked for from the science of folk-lore. It is with legitimate pride that the organisers of the second International Folk-lore Congress claim to have clearly recognised this fact, and to have endeavoured to give it due prominence in the proceedings of the Congress.

The papers are printed as revised by the authors, and it is of course understood that the latter accept full re- sponsibility for them. Mr. Alfred Nutt's paper has been written since the Congress, but it reproduces faithfully the one delivered there vivA voce. The discussion on the various papers has been given, with slight curtailment, verbatim. Exigencies of time forbade discussion on certain papers, whilst others had to be taken as read. The editors are alone to blame for this, their efforts to lay a full programme before the Congress being only too successful.

The delay in the production of this volume will not be thought excessive when it is recollected that the authors of papers come literally from all parts of the world.

Joseph Jacobs. Alfred Nutt.




The Congress met at the Society of Antiquaries, BurHngton House, Piccadilly, on Thursday, October ist, 1891, at 2.30 p.m.

It was resolved unanimously that Mr. Andrew Lang be President of the Congress.

It was moved by Mr. J. J. Foster, and seconded by M. Henri CoRDiER of Paris, and carried unanimously, that a telegram be despatched to Her Majesty the Queen of Roumania. The telegram was worded as follows : "The International Folk-lore Congress beg to congratulate your Majesty upon progress towards recovery of the most exalted of European folk-lorists."

Mr. G. L. GoMME moved, Mr. NUTT seconded, and it was resolved, that an International Folk-lore Council be elected, consisting of the following :


Abercromby (The Hon. J.), Lon- don. Ancona (Alessandro d'), Pisa. Andrews (J. B. ), Mentone. D'Arbois de Jueainville (H.),

Paris. Bancroft (H, H.), America. Basset (Ren^), Algiers. BliSmont (Emile), Paris. Boas (F.), America. BOGISIC (Professor V.), Odessa. Bonaparte( Prince Roland), Paris. BOURKE (Major J. G.), New York. Braga (Th.), Lisbon, Brabrook (Edward W.), London. Brinton (Dr. D. G.), America. Brueyre (Loys), Paris. Caknoy (H,), Directeur de La

Tradition, Paris. Certeu.x (A, ), Treasurer, Soc, des

Traditions Populaires, Paris, Child (F, J.), President of the

American Folk-lore Society. Clodd (Edward), London. Coelho (Adolpho), Lisbon. Comparetti (Professor Do-

menico), Florence. Cordier (H.), Paris. COSQUIN (E,), Vitry le Franpois. Crane (Professor J. T.), Ithaca

University, U.S.A.


Fewkes (Dr. Walter), Washington. Fleury (Professor Jean), St.

Petersburg. Foster (J. J. ), London. Frazer (J. G.), Cambridge. Gaidoz (H.), Paris. Gaster (Rev. Dr.), London. Gezelle (Rev. Dr.), Courtrai. Girard de Rialle, Paris. GittiSe (Professor Aug. ),Charleroi. Gomme (G. Laurence), Director of

the Folk-lore Society, London. Haddon (Professor A. C. ), Dublin. Hamy(E. T.), Paris. Hartland (E. Sidney), Glouces- ter, Hermann (Antony), Director of

Ethnologische Mitteiliingcn ans

Ungarn, Buda-Pesth. Jacobs (Joseph), London. Karlovicz (J.), A\'arsaw. KiRBY(W. F.), London. Knoop (O. ), Rogasen. KCEHLER (Reinhold), Weimar. Kovaleskey (Professor M.),

Beaulieu-sur-Mer. Krauss (Dr. F. S.), Vienna. Krohn (Dr. K.), Helsingfors. Lang (Andrew), President F.-L.S. ,

London. Lefevre (Andr^), Paris.

Official Ti ansactions.



Leger (Louis), Paris.

Legrand (Emile), Paris.

Leland (C. G.), President Gipsy Lore Society, America.

Loth (J,), Rennes.

Lubbock (Sir John, Bart.), Lon- don.

LUZEL (F. M. ), Quimper.

Machado y Alvarez (Antonio), Director of the Bibhoteca del Folk-lore Espanol, Madrid.

MacRitchie (David), Secretary of the Gipsy-lore Society, Edin- burgh.

Maspons y Labros, Barcelona.

McE (Molke), Christiania.

MONSEUR (Prof. E.), President of the Soci^t^ de Folk-lore Wallon, Liege.

Mont (Pol de), Antwerp.

Newell (W. W.), Secretary of the American Folk-Lore Society, Cambridge, Mass.

NUTT (Alfred), London.

Nyrop (Kr.), Copenhagen.

Pedroso (Z. C. ), Lisbon.

Pitr^ (Dr.), Director of the Archi- vio per lo studio delle Tradizioni popolari, Palermo.


Pitt-Rivers (Lieut.-Gen. ), Lon- don.

Ploix (Charles), President of the Soci6t6 des Traditions Popu- laires, Paris.

PoLiTis (N.), Athens.

Rhys (Professor), Oxford.

Rink (Dr.), Copenhagen.

ROLLAND (Eug.), Paris.

RosifeRES (Raoul), Paris.

Sayce (Professor A. H.), Oxford.

SiiBILLOT (Paul), Paris.

Steinthal (Professor), Director of Zeitschrift fiir \'olkerpsycho- logie, Berlin.

Stephens (Professor Dr. G.), Co- penhagen.

Temple (Major R. C), Burmah.

TiELE (Professor C. P.), Leyden.

Tylor (Dr. Edward B.), Ox- ford.

Weckerlin (J. B.), Paris.

Wesselofsky (Prof. Alexandre), St. Petersburg.

Weinhold (Prof K.), President of the Verein fiir Volkskunde, Berlin.

WiNDISCH (Prof. E.), Leipzig.

After a discussion, it was moved by Mr. E. S. Hartland, that the Council should have power to add to their number.

The motion in its amended form was then put and resolved nem. cott.

The President then delivered his opening address ; and it was moved by M. Charles Ploix, President of the Socift^ des Traditions Populaires, and seconded by Mr. Newell, Secretary of he American Folk-lore Society, that the best thanks of the Congress be given to Mr. Lang for his address.

Friday, October 27id.

In the absence of the President, it was moved by Mr. Gomme seconded, and resolved, that Mr. E. S. Hartland take the chair.

It was resolved unanimously that Mr. E. S. Hartland be President of the Folk-tale Section ; that Prof Rhys be President of the Mytho-

xxvi Introduction.

logical Section; and that Sir F. Pollock, Bart., be President of the Customs and Institutions Section.

Mr. Sidney Hartland having been formally appointed the Chair- man of' the Folk-tale Section, Mr. JACOBS proposed to appoint M. Loys Brueyre Vice-Chairman of this Section, this gentleman having been a member of the English Folk-lore Society for some time, and having distinguished himself by publishing the first collection of British folk-tales.

The Chairman seconded the motion from the chair, requesting the Conference to show their appreciation of M. Brueyre's work by carrying the resolution by acclamation, which was heartily responded to.

M. Brueyre, having taken his new seat by the side of the Chairman, thanked the meeting in a short French speech for the honour they had conferred upon him.

The Chairman then proceeded to read his Presidential Address, and the papers of the day were read as follows :

Mr. Newell, Secretary of the American Folk-lore Society, read a paper on " Lady Featherflight", upon which Mr. Andrew Lang made some observations.

Mr. Joseph Jacobs read a paper on " The Problem of Diffusion

Mr. D. MacRitchie read a paper on " The Historical Basis of Folk-tales", and a discussion followed, in which Professors Rhys and Haddon, Mr. Stuart-Glennie, Dr. E. Oswald, Mr. Gomme, Dr. Rae, Rev. 'W. S. Lach-Szyrma, Mr. Hugh Nevill, and Mr. A. Nutt took part.

Mr. Alfred Nutt discussed the Problems of Heroic Legend.

A paper was read by M. Krohn on La Chanson populaire en Finlande.

Monday, October ^t/t. Mythology Section.

Ckatrma?i — PROFESSOR JOHN Rhys. The meeting having been formally opened at 11.15, Mr. Alfred Nutt rose to propose the appointment as Vice-Chairman of this Section of M. Charles Ploix, President of the Soci^t^ des Traditions Populaires, who was a distinguished representative of the nature-myth school of folk-lorists. As he (Mr. Nutt) had been suspected of undue prejudice in favour of that school on account of his yesterday's speech, he hoped that this proposal would not be looked upon as a base plot to capture the Congress. They all felt that this offer was due to M. Ploix.

Official Transactions. xxvii

Air. Joseph Jacobs having seconded the proposal, it was put by the Chairman and carried by acclamation.

The Chairman delivered his address, and the following papers of the day were read :

-M. Ploix read a paper in French upon " The Myth of the Odyssey".

Dr. E. B. Tylor presented and explained a collection of charms and instruments of sorcery.

Mr. C. G. Leland, President of the Gipsy-lore Society, read a paper on " Etruscan Magic", and Mr. Lang, Mr. Kirby, Professor T. Rupert Jones, and Miss Dempster took part in the discussion which followed.

Mr. J. S. Stuart-Glennie read a paper on "The Origins of Mythology"; Professor Sayce, Messrs. Kirby, Clodd, Lang, and Nutt took part in the discussion which followed.

Mr. Leland read Miss Mary Owen's paper on " Voodoo Magic", and Messrs. W. W. Newell, Hyde Clark, Dr. Tylor, Mr. A. W. Moore, and Professor Tcheraz discussed the same.

After the President's Address, Dr. JOHN EVANS rose to propose a hearty and well-deserved vote of thanks to Professor Rhys for his admirable Address. He would not enlarge upon the various topics of the paper, but would rather take this opportunity to heartily welcome the Congress on behalf of the Society of Antiquaries, of which he was the President. The whole Society would feel great satisfaction that the Congress was so successful and important as it undoubtedly was. The science of Archaeology was one which was constantly extending, and had arrived at a stage when it could no longer afford to ignore the help of Folk-lore.

Tuesday, October 6th. Institutions and Customs Section.


The meeting having been formally opened, Mr. Nutt proposed, and the Chairman of the Section seconded, the appointment of Prof. Bogisic as Vice-Chairman of the Section ; carried by acclamation.

The Chairman proceeded to give his Presidential Address, and the other papers of the Section were read as follows :

Dr. E. WiNTERNlTZ read a paper on ." Aryan Marriage Customs", which was discussed by Mr. W. G. Black, Professor Rhys, Professor Tcheraz, Messrs. Newell, Gomme, Hartland, Nutt, Dr. Lowy, and the Chairman.

xxviii Inlrodutiion.

Ml-. G. L. GOMME read a paper on " N on- Aryan Elements in British Institutions", upon which the Chairman made some remarks.

Mr. C. L. TUPPER read a paper on " Indian Institutions", which was discussed by the Chairman.

At the afternoon meeting Mr. Andrew Lang took the chair, and Mr. F. H. Groome read a paper on " Gipsy Influence on Folk- Custom". Dr. Gaster, Messrs. Leland, Black, Kirby, Nutt, and the Chairman took part in the discussion.

Wednesday, October "jth.

At a meeting of the Congress held at Burlington House, Wednes- day, October yth, the President in the chair, the minutes of the preceding meeting were read and confirmed.

Mr. G. L. GOMME moved. Professor Rhys seconded, and it was resolved, that it be an instruction to the International Folk-lore Council that voting on matters of principle and importance should be by proxy.

Mr. NuTT moved, Mr. JACOBS seconded, and it was resolved that the place and date of the ne.xt Congress meeting should be left in the hands of the International Council.

Upon the motion of the Hon. J. Abercromby, seconded by the Rev. Dr. Gaster, it was unanimously resolved that the best thanks ot the Congress be given to the Society of Antiquaries for the use of their rooms.

Upon the motion of Mr. Gomme, seconded by Mr. Nutt, it was resolved that the best thanks of the Congress be given to the ex- hibitors of objects.

Upon the motion of Mr. E. S. Hartlanb, seconded by Professor Rhys, it was resolved that the best thanks of the Congress be given to the Mercers' Company for the use of their hall on the e\ening of the 5th of October.

Upon the motion of Mr. GOMME, seconded by the Hon. John Abercromby, it was resolved that the best thanks of the Congress be given to the honorary officers and the members of committees, especially to Mr. T. F. Ordish, Chairman of the Entertainment Com- mittee, Mr. Nutt, Hon. Secretary of the Literary Committee, and Mr. J. J. Foster, Secretary of the Organising Committee.

It was resolved that Messrs. Wheatley and Abercromby be ap- pointed auditors of the accounts of the Congress.

It was resolved that the thanks of the Congress be given to Messrs. Krohn and Dr. Anton Hermann for their gifts of publications, the

Official Transactions. xxix

present of the latter being announced by Mr. C. G. Leland, delegate of the Hungarian Folk-lore Society.

It was resolved that, if possible, a selection of objects exhibited should be reproduced in the volume of Transactions ; and Messrs. Gomme, Nutt, Ordish, and Foster were requested to take the matter in hand.

On the motion of Prof Haddon, it was resolved that the Folk-lore Society be requested to consider as to the possibility of forming a museum of objects connected with folk-lore.

It was resolved that the thanks of the Congress be given to ?ilr. Gomme for his services as Chairman of the Organising Com- mittee.





Ladies and Gentlemen, — We are met to begin, for Folk-lorists will not say to " inaugurate", the second Folk Lore Congress. The honour of having to welcome you is to me embarrassing in more ways than one. I feel that, among so many students, far more learned and more specially devoted to our topic, I am but an amateur, and again, that on the matters of which I am least ignorant 1 have said, many times, at least all that I know. Leaving this personal apology, one may be asked what is the pur- pose of our congress. The cynic will say that we, like all congresses, want to advertise, if not ourselves, at least our objects ; or, if he be more polite, that we want to keep our objects before the public. And so we do. In these studies of ours every one may help us ; from the mother who observes the self-developed manners and the curious instincts of her children, to the clergyman who can record the superstitions of his flock, or the rural usages that sur- vive from a dateless antiquity. Folk-lore, as we shall see, is very much like that study of man which the poet recom- mends to mankind ; it is a study to which every one who keeps his eyes open can contribute. For example, I lately had the pleasure of meeting a young lady who, uncon- sciously, was the very muse of Folk-lore, and perpetuated all the mental habits which we attribute to early if not to primitive man. When she met .a flock of sheep she said, "September 12, 1 891, "and this she repeated thrice for luck. On encountering a number of cows she remarked whether


2 Folk-lore Congress.

they divided on the road, or all took one side. Thence she drew auguries of prosperous or evil fortune. If she found a crow's feather in the fields she stuck it erect in the grass, and wished a wish. Old pieces of iron she carefully threw over her left shoulder, and when this is done in London streets it must be performed with caution, for it is unlucky to hit a citizen in the eye. She kissed her hand to the new moon. If there were three candles alight, she blew one out, not from motives of economy, but because three lighted candles arow are unlucky. She was perturbed by winding-sheets in a candle ; she tried to count nine stars on nine consecutive nights — a thing difficult to do in this cloudy climate ; spilt salt greatly exercised her mind, though, unlike another Folk-lorist, she did not spill the claret over it. She was retentive of old superstitions, and to new ones her intellect was as hospitable as the Pantheon of the Romans. One could not have a better example of the early mental habit which finds omens in all things, as in the flight of birds, especially magpies — in fact she was a survival or proof of how, in the midst of an incredulous civilisation, the instinct of superstition may linger in full force. We can all observe this ancient and long-enduring vein of human nature, which would survive religion if religion perished, and if all priesthoods fell, and all temples, would suffice to build up altars and rituals anew. Our congress, therefore, may help to suggest to people that they are living among mental phenomena well worth noting, and, in some cases, well worth recording. We can tell the world that it has in itself and around it the materials of a study at least as in- teresting as botany or geology. The materials of geology or botany we must seek in fields, and mountains, and road- metal ; the materials of Folk-lore, of popular and primeval belief, we can find wherever there are human beings. It is also our part to show the conclusions, as wide as human fate and human fortunes, to which our perusal of the facts may guide us. And thus we may win a few new disciples to Folk-lore, and, I sincerely trust, a few more subscribers

The Presidents Address. 3

to the Folk-lore Society. To keep all this before the public is, let us frankly admit, the object of the congress. We also want to see each other's faces as we read each other's works, and to enjoy some personal discussion of matters in which there is much diversity of opinion. Probably we shall squabble ; I hope we shall do so with humour and good humour. There may be solar mythologists here, or persons who believe in the white Archaian races, who gave their rosy daughters, and with them laws, to black, red, brown, and yellow peoples. These views do not recommend themselves to my own reasoning faculties ; my notions do not recommend themselves to the solar mythologists and the Archaian whites, but that is no reason why we should not discuss them in a friendly spirit, and take a cup of kindness yet for auld lang syne. A congress has a perfect right to any social enjoyments within its reach, and if any one can sing folk-songs, or dance the beggar's dance to please us, like Paupakeewis in Hiawatha, I trust that the opportunity and the desire to oblige may not be absent. There is no use in confounding each other for our theories of customs or myths, and, in the acerbity of their bickers, our fathers, the old antiquarians, taught us what to avoid.

After these few prefatory remarks on the purpose of the congress I may endeavour to explain what we mean or, at all events, what I mean, by Folk-lore. When the word was first introduced, by Mr. Thoms, it meant little, per- haps, but the observing and recording of various supersti- tions, stories, customs, proverbs, songs, fables, and so forth. But the science has gradually increased its scope, till it has, taken almost all human life for its province. Indeed if any one asks how and where Folk-lore differs from anthro- pology, I am rather at a loss for a reply. When anti- quarians such as our own old Aubrey began to examine rural usages and superstitions, like the maypole and the harvest home, they saw — they could hardly help seeing — that the practices of the folk, of the peasant class everywhere, were

B 2

4 Folk-lore Congress.

remains of Gentilism or heathenism. The Puritans knew this very well, and if they hated the Maypole in the Strand, it was because they knew it to be at least as old as Troy, whose fate, as we know, it has shared.

Where's Troy, and where's the May pole in the Strand?

The Puritans were conscious that much Pagan custom had been tolerated by the Church, and had survived, not only in ecclesiastical usage, but in popular festivals. The folk, the people, had changed the names of the objects of its worship, had saints in place of Gods, but had not given up the festival of May night, nor ceased to revere, under new titles, the nereids or the lares, the fairies or the browny. All these survivals the Puritans attacked and the old antiquarians obsei-ved, comparing early English customs with the manners of Greece and Rome. In these studies lay the origin of our modern Folk-lore, now far wider in scope, and better equipped with knowledge of many tales ancient and modern. For example, Acosta found in Peru rites which at once resembled those of the Church, those of our own harvest homes, and those of the Eleusinian mysteries and the practices of the Greek Thesmophoria. The earlier observers explained such coin- cidences in various ways. They thought that the devil in America deliberately parodied the ceremonial and doctrine of the Church. Or they thought that the lost tribes of Israel, in their wanderings, had carried all over the world the ritual of Judaism. At the end of the seven- teenth century, Spencer, the master of C. C. C. Cambridge, reached a theory more like our own. He saw that the Jewish ritual was not an original pattern, from which heathen ritual was perverted, but was, as I have elsewhere said, a divinely licensed version of, or selection from, the religious uses of Eastern peoples in general. We have now expanded this idea, and find in the Jewish ritual a mono- theistic and expurgated example of rites common, not to Semitic or Eastern peoples only, but common to all races

The President's Address. 5

everywhere which have reached a certain level of civilisa- tion. Sacrifice, expiation, communion of the people with their God, laws of ceremonial, uncleanness, prohibitions from certain acts and certain foods, the tabernacle, and the rest, we find them, practically, in solution everywhere ; in Judaism we find them codified, as it were, and committed, as a body of rules, to writing and to the care of a priestly class. Now the theory which I advance here in the case of certain rites, may be employed in all the provinces of tradi- tional custom, belief, and even literature. The Greeks, like Herodotus and Aristotle, were struck by the coinci- dences of custom, festival, sacrifice, and hymn, among Hellenes and Barbarians, Egyptians, Assyrians, Phcenicians, Scythians. Aristotle himself could see that Greece had inherited, developed, and purified barbaric beliefs and usages, and myths ; that the common stock was the same everywhere, and was only modified by the peculiarities of race. The modern learning has acquired fresh information, and has found that the myths and beliefs and customs of African, Australian, American, and insular races correspond with those of the ancient classical races. Further, we have learned that ideas, habits, myths, similar to those of the ancient world and of remote barbaric peoples unknown to the ancient world, endure still among the folk, the more stationary, the more uncultivated classes of modern Europe, among Lincolnshire hinds, Highland crofters, peasants of France, Italy, Germ.any, Russia. Now Folk-lore approaches the whole topic of these singular harmonies and coinci- dences from the side of the folk, of the unlearned rural classes in civilised Europe. We have turned the method of mythology, for instance, upside down. The old manner was to begin with the cultivated and literary myths, as we find them in Ovid, or Apollodorus, or Pausanias, and to regard modern rural rites and legends and beliefs as modi- fied descendants of these traditions. But the method of Folk-lore is to study these rural customs and notions as survivals, relics enduring from a mental condition of anti-

6 Folk-lore Congress.

quity far higher than that of Hterary Rome or Greece. We do not say that, as a rule, this harvest rite, or vernal custom, or story filtered out of Ovid dovi'n into the peasant class. Rather w^e say that, as a rule, Ovid is describing and decorating some rural customs or tale which is infinitely older than his day, and which may be, and often is, shared with Roman agriculturists by the peasants of France and England, and also by natives of lands undiscovered by the civilised races of the old world. The method of Folk-lore rests on the hypothesis of a vast common stock of usage, opinion, and myth, everywhere developed alike, by the natural operation of early human thought. This stock, or much of it, is everywhere retained by the unprogressive, uneducated class, while the priests and poets and legislators of civilisation select from it, and turn customs into law, magic into ritual, story into epic, popular singing measures into stately metres, and vague floating belief into definite religious doctrine.

Thus, briefly to give examples, the world-wide custom of the blood-feud becomes the basis of the Athenian law of homicide. The savage magic which is believed to fertilise the fields becomes the basis of the Attic Thesmophoria, or of the Eleusinian legend and mysteries. The rural festivi- ties of Attica become the basis of the Greek drama. The brief singing measures of the popular song become the basis of the hexameter. The sacrifice of the sacred animal of the kindred becomes a great source of Greek ritual. The world-wide viarchen of the blinded giant, the returned husband, the lad with the miraculously skilled companions, are developed into the Odyssey and the Argonautica.

Thus on every side the method of Folk-lore sho\\'s us mankind first developing in mass, and without the trace- able agency of individuals (though that must have been at work), a great body of ideas, customs, legends, beliefs. Then, as society advances and ranks are discriminated, the genius of individuals selects from the mass, from the common stock, and polishes, improves, fixes, stereotypes,

The President's Address. 7

brings to perfection certain elements in the universal treasure. Here it is that the influence of race and of genius comes in.

The great races, as of the Aryan speaking and Semitic peoples, are races in which genius is common, and the general level is high. Such a race has its codes, its creeds, its epics, its drama, which the less fortunate races lack. But the/wz^, the basis, is common to humanity. Meanwhile, till quite recently, even in the higher races, the folk, the people, the untaught, have gone on living on the old stock, using the old treasure, secretly revering the dispossessed ghosts and fairies, amusing the leisure of the winter even- ings with the old stories handed down from grandmother to mother, to child, through all the generations. These very stories exist, though the folk know it not, in another form, refined by the genius of poets. In time, and occa- sionally, they will filter back among the people. But, on the whole, till now, the folk have prolonged the ancient life, as it was in customs and belief long before Homer sang, long before the Hebrew legislation was codified and promulgated.

This is a broad general view of the theory of Folk-lore, a rule to the working of which there are doubtless many exceptions. For example, philosophers have tried to show that in religion all begins, as usual, with the folk, all starts from the ghosts which they saw, or thought they saw, while early theological genius and mature speculation select from these ghosts till, by the survival of the fittest, the fittest ghost becomes a god. I shall not throw the apple of theological discord among the Congress, and shall merely confess that this theory does not, as far as I have gone, seem to me to be justified by facts. Among the very rudest peoples whom I have tried to study, the God is already in existence, as well as the ghosts, already makes for righteousness, and promises future punishment and reward. How the idea came there, among these very back- ward, but far from really primitive people, I cannot

8 Folk-lore Congress.

presume to guess, believing that here all research is but baseless conjecture. Certainly, among the most remote, secluded, and undeveloped ancestors of the folk I seem to find, as a rule, both ghosts and God, but whether one idea is prior to the other, and if so which, I have discovered no positive evidence.

I have tried to state the theory of Folk-lore as I under- stand it. I consider that man, as far as we can discern him in the dark backward and abysm of Time, was always man, always rational and inquisitive, always in search of a reason in the universe, always endeavouring to realise the worlds in which he moved about. But I presume man to have been nearly as credulous as he was inquisitive, and, above all, ready to explain everything by false analogies, and to regard all movement and energy as analogous to that life of which he was conscious within himself Thus to him the whole world seemed peopled with animated and personal agencies, which gradually were discriminated into ghosts, fairies, lares, nymphs, river and hill spirits, special gods of sky, sun, earth, wind, departmental deities presiding over various energies, and so forth. About him- self, as about the world, he was ignorant and credulous. False analogy, the doctrine of sympathies, the belief in spirits that had and in spirits that had not been men, these things, with perhaps an inkling of hypnotism, pro- duced the faith in magic. Magic once believed in the world became a topsy-turvy place, in which metamor- phoses and necromancy and actual conversation with the beasts became probable in man's fiction and possible in man's life. A painful life it seems to us, or to some of us, in which any old woman or medicine man might blast the crops, cause tempest, inflict ill luck and disease, could turn you into a rabbit or a rook, could cause bogies to haunt your cave, or molest your path, a life in which any stone or stick might possess extra-natural powers, and be the home of a beneficent or malignant spirit. A terrible existence that of our ancestors, and yet, without it where

The Presidents Address. g

would our poetry be, our Greek legends, even our fairy tales ? Those fathers of ours, if they led this life, and if they took it seriously, were martyrs to our poetical enjoyment. Had the pagan noi been nurtured in that creed forlorn, we could not have sight of Proteus rising from the sea, nor hear Triton blow his wreathed horn. The stars, but for the ignorant confusions of our fathers, might be masses of incandescent gas, or whatever they are, but they could not have been named with the names of Ariadne and Cassiopeia, nor could Orion have watched the Bear, nor should we known the rainy Hyades, and the sweet influences of the Pleiads. Ignorance, false analogy, fear, were the origin of that poetry in which we have the happier part of our being. Say the sun is incandescent gas, and you help us little with your sane knowledge, for we neither made it nor can we mend it. But believe in your insane ignorance that the sun is a living man, and Apollo speeds down from it like the bronze pouring from the furnace, in all the glory of his godhood. Great are the gains of ignorance and of untutored conjecture. Had mankind always been a thing of school boards and primers, we could not even divert a child with Red Riding Hood and The Sleeping Beauty and Hop-o'-My-Thumb. We should look on the rainbow and be ignorant of Iris, the Messenger, and of the Bow of the Covenant, set in the heavens.

Thus, as in a hundred other ways, the mental condition of our most distant ancestors has turned to our profit. He trembled that we might rejoice ; he was ignorant for our happiness. And after all he was probably as happy as we are ; it is not saying much.

The method of Folk-lore, as has been seen, rests on an hypothesis, namely, that all peoples have passed through a mental condition so fanciful, so darkened, so incongruous, so inconsistent with the scientific habit that to the scientific it seems insane. I am often asked, supposing your views are correct, how did mankind come to be so

10 Folk-lore Congress.

foolish? Was mankind ever insane? one is asked. Cer- tainly not ; he had always the germ of the scientific habit, was always eager rerum cognoscere causas, but he was ignorant, indolent, and easily satisfied with a theory. How did he come to believe in ghosts? people inquire, and why did he not believe in some other kind of ghost .■" Really, except on the hypothesis that there is a ghost, or something very like one, I don't know. I can only repose on facts. People were not all mad two hundred years ago, but they believed as firmly in witchcraft as a Solomon islander does to-day, and the English witch's spells were even as those of the Solomon islander. The belief rested on false analogies, the theory of sympathies, and the credence in disembodied spirits. The facts are absolutely undeniable, and the frame of mind to which witchcraft seemed credible and omens were things to be averted everywhere survives. You will never make mankind scientific, and even men of science, like Ixion, have embraced agreeable shadows and disembodied mediums. We have conceived these follies because " it is our nature to", as the hymn says. Further explanation belongs to the psychologist, not to the Folk-lorist. If ignorance, conjecture, and credulity be insanity in the persons of our ancestors, deliraviiniis oimics.

The unity, the harmony of the human beliefs, and even the close resemblances of popular myths and stories among all peoples, are among the most curious discoveries of folk-lore. Now, as to custom and belief, we may expect to find them nearly identical in essentials every- where, because they spring from similar needs, occasions, and a past of similar mental conditions. But, as to the resemblances of myths and stories, from the Cape to Baffin's Bay, from Peru to the Soudan, we shall doubtless have the matter discussed at later meetings. I myself am inclined to attribute the resemblances, partly to iden- tity of ideas and beliefs, partly to transmission, either modern, or in the course of pre-historic war and commerce.

Ths Presidents Address. ii

A story could wander as far as mankind wanders, even before Ouida was read from Tangiers to Tobolsk. All this, however, is likely to be discussed. Folk-lorists who think that we neglect ethnology, that we take mankind to be, essentially, too much of the same pattern every- where, will also have their say. I do not myself believe that some one centre of ideas and myths, India or Central Asia, can be discovered, do not believe that some one gifted people carried everywhere the seeds of all knowledge, of all institutions, and even the plots of all stories. The germs have been everywhere, I fancy, and everywhere alike, the speciality of Race contributes the final form. All peoples, for example, have a myth (or memory) of a Deluge, only the Jewish race gives it the final monotheistic form in which we know it best. Many peoples, as the Chinese, have the tale of the Returned Husband and the Faithful Wife, only the Greek race gave it the final shape, in the Odyssey. Many peoples, from the Turks to the Iroquois, have the story of the Dead Wife Restored, only Greece shaped the given matter into the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice. Many races have carved images, only Greece freed Art, and brought her to perfection. In perfecting, not in inventing, lies the special gift of special races, or so it seems to myself

Let me say a final word for the attraction and charm of our study. Call it Anthropology, call it Folk-lore, the science of Man in his institutions and beliefs is full of lessons and of enjoyment. We stand on a height and look backwards on the movement of the Race, we see the wilderness whence it comes, the few straggling paths, that wander, that converge, that are lost in the \\o\A, or in the bush, or meet to become the road, and the beaten high- way, and the railway track. We see the path go by caves and rude shelters, by desolate regions and inhospi- table, by kraal and village and city. Verily, we may say, " He led us by a path which we knew not." The world

12 Folk-lore Congress.

has been taught and trained, but not as we would have trained it. Ends have been won, which were never fore- seen, but not by the means which we would have chosen. The path is partly clear behind us ; it is dark as a wolf's mouth in front of our feet. But we must follow, and, as the Stoic says, if we turn cowards, and refuse to follow, we must follow still.

Mr. C. G. Leland said he was struck very favourably with the extremely cathohc and Hberal tone of the address. As their associa- tion grew larger various opinions would be developed with regard to folk-lore, and some allowance must be ah\'ays made for differences of opinion. It was in consequence of not taking cognizance of that fact that the Oriental Congress, of which he was a member, came to grief The great object of folk-lore was to come to the truth and to get at the inner life of history. Folk-lore was to history what colour was to design. They had to bring out of the past not merely the history of battles, but the story of the inner life that illuminated and coloured history. They must, however, during the course of these congresses, mutually consider each other's failings and weakness. He proposed a vote of thanks to the President for his admirable address.

Mr. Charles Ploix, of Paris, seconded the motion, which was carried by acclamation.

Mr. Andrew Lang acknowledged the compliment in appropriate terms.


Chairman— E. SIDNEY HARTLAND, Esq., F S.A.

OCTOBER sth, 1891.


The study of folk-tales and folk-songs, with which we have in this section more particularly to do, is, perhaps, the most generally popular of all the departments of folk-lore. The cause of this popularity is not far to seek. It arises less from the scientific interest of the problems to be solved, or of the results of the investigation, than from the beauty, the wildness, the weird enchantment of many of the tales themselves, and from the tender recollections awakened by them in almost every mind of the hours and feelings of childhood, of faces, of voices, and of scenes long since passed away. Of course we have arrived at that pitch of scientific train- ing that we despise all this sentiment, and we should probably be unwilling to admit how far we have been at one time or another influenced by it. But it may be put as a general proposition^ quite inapplicable to ourselves — that many persons are influenced by it, and that some of those who are drawn first of all to the study in this way end by becoming serious investigators of the phenomena. The effect of such an advantage in obtaining re- cruits ought to be a large body of students, and much consequent' progress in the solution of the questions wherewith we have to deal. But, although some progress has been made, it would be difficult to show that it exceeds the progress made in several other branches of folk-lore, — if, indeed, it will compare with it at all. Do we ask why ? The answer will, I think, be found in the fact that hitherto most of the energy devoted to this fascinating subject has been spent in accumulating material rather than in examining and digesting it. Not a word is to be said against the accumulation of material. We have, indeed, a wealth of stories from almost all parts of the world. The books which contain them would already of themselves fill a library, and that not a small one. But there is much yet to be done, much most urgently required, in the way of collection before what we, with self-satisfied emphasis, call civilisation stamps out some races of mankind altogether — as,'for

1 6 Folk-tale Section.

instance, it has stamped out the Tasmanians, leaving only one poor fragment of a native tale on record — or wipes from the memories of the others the rapidly-vanishing lines of their genuine traditions. Yet, as the number of stories increases, ever will the difficulty of dealing with them grow. This is a difficulty we in England, as you know, have proposed partly to overcome by careful analysis and tabulation. Our method was much discussed at the Paris Congress two years ago ; and it is not entirely free from objection. We are hoping before long to issue a tabulation of all the accessible variants of the tale of Cinderella ; and then, with a connected series of results before us, it will be possible to pronounce a definitive judgment on the merits and defects of the scheme.

But we may reasonably demand whether the time has not yet arrived when we may take stock of our museum of tales, and pro- ceed to determine, provisionally, at all events, the questions that arise upon them. It is not enough to sort and classify : we must enquire what mean the stories thus laboriously gathered, whence did they spring, and what relation do they bear to one another and to the history of our race. I confess, for my part, that my interest in the science of folk-lore would come to naught unless I believed that the traditions alike of our fathers and of the other nations of the world contained, and might be made to yield up to the diligent enquirer, information of the utmost value concerning •the primitive beliefs and practices of mankind, and, behind these, the very structure and development of the human mind. In the process of extracting this information the study of folk-tales must always bear an important part ; for it is chiefly in tales that the speculative portions of a savage creed take shape. Something, and not a little, has been done in this direction since Grimm first showed the remains of ancient heathendom in the stories of his own land. His method has been more widely applied in recent years, by distinguished writers whom I need not name, to stories found in every region of the world ; and conclusions in regard to the beliefs fundamental to all savage religions have been based in part upon them.

These applications have not been allowed to pass unchallenged. Literary men have contended that the true origin of folk-tales was to be found in India, that they were Buddhist parables, and that

The Chairman' s Address. 17

the Buddhist propaganda sowed them broadcast. I'his, at least, as I understand it, is the old orthodox opinion of scholars who dispute the anthropological hypothesis. We shall all regret to think that we are not (as we hoped) to have among us to-day, in the person of M. Cosquin, the most illustrious of these scholars. Whether we agree with him or not, we all recognise in his writings a most valuable contribution to the science of folk-lore ; and though we cannot hear from his lips, we shall at least have the advantage of hearing in his own words presently, a fresh exposition of his opinions. This will be the more interesting since many of us have been accustomed to think that the pressure of controversy of late years has broken up the Buddhist faith. Heretics have been found who mingle its purity with the streams of Egyptian, and even of Jewish, tradition. For as the area of research widens, we doubt more and more that folk-tales found in the remotest corners of the earth have all sprung from one centre within a measurable historical period. It has, therefore, been practically abandoned by most of its defenders in this country. But the anthropological hypothesis is not left in possession of the field. That hypothesis attributes the origin of folk-tales, as of every other species of tradition, to the constitution of the human mind. A similar environment acting upon the mind will every- where produce similar results. And it is the variations of the environment, both physical and social, as well the moral and material products of civilisation as the natural features of the earth, its fauna and flora, which give rise to the variety of stories all presenting perpetual coincidences, and all evolved from a few leading ideas common to the race. The birthplace of any story is, therefore, impossible to determine ; for no story has any one birthplace. There is no story but has been evolved in one form or other wherever in the whole world the environment has been favourable.

I am putting a broad statement of the theory, purposely putting it without qualification or reserve ; and I do not now pause to ask whether any student of folk-lore would accept it stated thus baldly. For the moment I am only concerned to contrast it as far as possible with the counter-theory I am going to state. This counter-theory accepts the results of the controversies over the theories of the Aryan philologists and the Buddhist scholars. It


1 8 Folk-tale Section.

admits that the foundation of the absurd and impossible tales current all round the globe must be sought in the beliefs of savage tribes about themselves and their surroundings, and in their magical and other superstitious practices. But it denies that the mere fact that a given story is found domesticated among any people is of itself evidence of the beliefs or practices of that people, present or past. Stories, we are told, especially some stories, must have been invented once, and once only. It would be too great a draught on our credulity to ask us to believe that a complicated plot, or a long series of incidents, or even a single incident of a very remarkable character, was invented in a dozen different places, however similar may be the working of men's minds. But it may have been handed on from man to man, from tribe to tribe, until it had made the circuit of the world. And we are bidden to note that contiguous countries have a larger number of stories in common than distant ones. Dr. Boas has drawn up quite a formidable list of tales current on the North American continent, which he declares have been disseminated from one tribe to another dwelling in adjacent regions ; nor would there be any difficulty in compiling a parallel, or indeed a far longer, list, for the Eastern hemisphere. It is accordingly to the problem of dissemination, rather than to that of meaning, that our attention is called by the advocates of what I may, perhaps, venture to dub the dissemination theory. Having first tracked a story to its birthplace, it will be easy afterwards to say what it means and how it came to be told.

Now, if this contention be well founded, it is enough to take us aback. For all the labours of interpretation have so far been in vain, and the cosmos we had hoped was beginning to be evolved out of the mass of traditions which have been collected is reduced once more to chaos. Nay, we can hardly tell whether the destruc- tive criticism on the theories of Professor Max Miiller, or that older romancer Euemeros, was right after all : whether the sun myth or The Wisdom of the Ancients may not rise again from the dead, or whether Bryant and his Noachian Deluge may not come and sweep us all away. We may, perhaps, tranquilly go on sorting and pigeon-holing; but as to making the traditions we have collected instruments to guide our researches into the development of civilisation — it would seem out of the question.

The Chairman's Address. 19

In the further observations I propose to make upon the dis- semination theory, I shall try to trench as little as possible on the papers we hope to listen to, but perhaps it will be unavoidable to anticipate in some degree the course of the discussion. My apology must be that this address was written in fact before I saw the programme of the session, and my engagements, unfortunately, did not permit of my recasting it afterwards.

The firsts observation to be made upon the dissemination theory is obviously that, even supposing the contention that a story is only invented once be true, to track any story to its place of origin must be a matter of extreme difficulty, because in a very large number of cases, if not in the vast majority, the diffusion must have taken place in times so remote, or in circumstances of such barbarism, that no trustworthy record of the transmission was possible. Of course, I do not forget that, on the one hand, modern criticism has resources which have been the means of achieving splendid and unexpected results in dealing with internal evidence, and, on the other hand, external evidence of transmission is some- times available, as in the case of many of the stories of The Seven Wise Masters, whose genealogy we can trace from book to book and from land to land.

But stories transmitted from book to book are no longer tradi- tional, and therefore they are out of our range. True, they may descend again from literature into tradition ; and when it is shown that this has happened, the literary links in the pedigree become once more of interest to us. Such descent, however, like oral trans- mission, is only possible where a story finds in the culture of the " folk" an environment favourable to its preservation and propaga- tion. The well-known Maori story of The Children of Heaven and Earth could never become a folk-tale among our English peasantry. There is nothing in their state of civilisation which responds to the ideas it contains; and, consequently, there is no soil in which it could take root. If, then, a wandering story, thus finding an appropriate soil and climate, settle down and flourish, it follows that the ideas it expresses correspond to those current among the " folk" of its new home. Does it speak of magic ? The thought must be already familiar, or it will find no acceptance by a fresh audience. If, though the thought be familiar, the details of the processes are strange, these will be changed into such as are

c 2

20 Folk-tale Section.

previously intelligible. Docs it assume the possibility of a change of form from human to brute, or to vegetable or mineral, and back again, while retaining consciousness and individual identity? Such a possibility must first of all have its place in the conventions of story-telling accepted by the newfolk into whose midstit is launched. And so I might go through every savage idea formulated by an- thropologists. Details might differ : they would be modifiable. But the principal ideas would remain steadfast, because they would be already a part of the mental organisation of the recipients. Where such ideas had been forgotten, or where they were abso- lutely unknown, it would be impossible to transplant the story. A fortiori, where details and all are adopted, the stage of culture of the transmitting folk and that of the receiving folk must be identical.

If this reasoning be true, it deprives of much of its force an objection to the results arrived at by applying the anthropological method of enquiry to any given tale, on the ground that we do not know that the tale in question is indigenous in the country in which it is found, and therefore cannot assume that the ideas or customs it presents ever were current there. If it be admitted, as I understand it is admitted, by the Disseminationists, that we are right in believing that folk-tales, like all other species of traditions, enshrine relics of archaic thought and archaic practice ; if those relics be, as we know they are, usually of the very structure and essence of the tale; and if, further, the tales enshrining those relics would be unintelligible to peoples who were strangers to the modes of thought which had produced them ; we may be reason- ably sure that all such tales must, even if borrowed, have embodied ideas and contained allusions to practices familiar to the borrowing peoples, or they would not have been received into their traditions. Tales may thus in general be safely used as evidence of archaic thought and custom once, if not still, rife among the folk who relate them.

Take, for example, the stories mentioned by Dr. Boas as current among contiguous tribes of North America. The Dog-rib Indians of the Great Slave Lake relate that the primitive ancestress of their race was a woman who was mated with a dog and bore six pups. She was deserted by her tribe, and went out daily to procure food for her family. On returning she found tracks of children about

Tlie Chairman's Address. 2i

the lodge, but saw not the children themselves. At length she hid herself, and discovered that her puppies threw off their skins as soon as they thought themselves alone, and played together in human shape. She surprised them and took away the skins, so that the children could no more return to canine form. This tale is also recorded in Vancouver Island, and all along the Pacific Coast from southern Alaska to southern Oregon ; and similar tales are told among the Hare Indians of Great Bear Lake, and the Eskimo of Greenland and Hudson's Bay.

Now, let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that this story originated not in a remote age among the common ancestors of the various tribes who relate it to-day, but at some period since the dispersion and differentiation of the American race. Let us sup- pose that it was invented in some one place, by some one tribe, and carried from one to another within comparatively recent times. Let us, in fact, concede the whole hypothesis of the Dissemina- tionists. The story still remains a witness of the state of civilisation of the tribes among which it is now found. Its foundation is probably totemistic ; and the ideas it conveys — the brute-ancestor, the marriage of a woman with a dog or a hare, and the birth of her children disguised as puppies or leverets — are common to all the tribes who have given it shelter, ^^'e are not dependent upon this tale for evidence that each of them believes in the possibility of these things. The Deluge legends, the stories of the women taken up to heaven, the Magic Flight, and the other tales in Dr. Boas' list, in this respect stand upon the same footing.

There is an African tale in which the presumption of borrow- ing is at first sight strong. It tells us of a fisherman who caught a large fish. The fish gave him millet and some of its own flesh, and spoke to him, directing him to cause his wife to eat the flesh alone, while he ate the millet. Compliance with these directions was followed by the birth of two sons, who were called Rombao and Antonyo, with their two dogs, two spears, and two guns. The boys became hunters, and did not hesitate to kill whoever opposed them and take possession of his land and other property. There was a whale which owned a certain water, and the chief of the country gave his daughter to buy water from the whale. But Rombao slew the whale, thus saving the maiden, and cut

22 Folk-tale Section.

out its tongue, which he thoughtfully salted and preserved. The credit of the exploit was claimed by the captain of a band of soldiers sent by the chief to ascertain why the whale had not sent the usual wind as a token that the girl had been eaten. The chief accordingly gives the captain his daughter in marriage. When, however, the marriage feast is ready, and the people assembled, the lady is unwilling. Rombao, who has made it his business to be present, interferes at the critical moment with the inquiry why she was to wed the captain, and is told it is because he has killed the whale. " But where", he asks, " is the whale's tongue ?" The tongue, of course, cannot be found, until Rombao himself triumphantly produces it and proves that he, not the captain, is entitled to the victor's honours. He marries the maiden, while the captain and his men, who aided and abetted his falsehood, are put to death. ^

This we shall at once recognise as a variant of the Breton story of The King of the Fishes, and somewhat more distantly akin to the classic legend of Perseus and Andromeda. It was told, presumably at Blantyre, on Lake Nyassa, to the Rev. Duff Mac- donald, of the Church of Scotland Mission, by a native of Quili- mane ; and the children's names betray the Portuguese influence paramount on the Quilimane coast. The tale, however, differs considerably from any Portuguese version with which I am acquainted. Most of its details are purely native. The husband and wife eating apart, the hunting and filibustering proceedings of the twins, the scarcity of water, the salting of the monster's tongue, the wedding customs, are among the indications of its complete assimilation by the native mind. The only details distinctly traceable to Portuguese influence are the names Rombao and Antonyo, the guns, and perhaps the millet — none of them essential to the story. Something appears to be wanting, as we know by comparing other variants, to account for the two dogs, the two spears, and the two guns ; and another point on which explanation is required is the word translated " whale". There is little of the supernatural in the tale ; what little there is is entirely in harmony with native beliefs. Upon the whole, then, this tale, which comes from a place where the Portuguese are dominant, bears traces of foreign influence only in a few inessential details.

Rev. Daff Maodonald, Africana, ii, 341.

The Chairman's Address. 23

So far as regards the other details, as well as the general plot, it might have been— perhaps it is— an aboriginal growth, so com- pletely is it at one with the native beliefs and customs.

Let us take another mdrchen even more widely spread. The Karens of Burmah tell of a tree-lizard who was born of a woman, and who succeeded in marrying the youngest of three sisters, a king's daughters. At night he cast his lizard-skin and became a handsome youth, but resumed it in the morning. His bride is questioned by her mother, and reveals her husband's nightly transformation. " Then the mother said : ' If that be the case, when he pulls off his skin to-night, throw it over to me.' When night came and the lizard stripped off his skin to sleep, his wife took it and threw it over to her mother, and her mother put it into the fire and burnt it up. In the morning, when he woke up he said to his wife : ' The fire has burnt up my clothes.' So his wife furnished him with suitable clothing, and he ceased to be a lizard."!

This story, like the last, has certain affinities with a familiar classic tale, though here the affinities are not very close : more exact resemblances may be found in modern European folk-lore. What I want you to notice, however, is the extraordinary manner, if it be an imported story, in which it has adapted itself to the Karen ideas and practices. The Karens are a wild race of endogamous savages, mixing little with the surrounding peoples. They live in villages, each of which, we are told, is an inde- pendent state. The chief, or king, of this tiny realm is hardly raised a step above his subjects ; his rule is founded on the consent of his people, whose elders he must consult on all occasions. A marriage between the king's daughter and one of his subjects would be an ordinary occurrence. The whole community dwells in a long house, in which every family has a separate hearth, probably screened off from the rest. There would thus be no difficulty in the bride's throwing her husband's skin over to her mother, who could easily pop it into the family fire. The author who reports this tale gives us only a very scrappy and imperfect account of Karen beliefs. But he makes it clear that among them is a belief that some beings, at all events, can undergo transformation without loss of identity, and that the

1 McMabon, The Karens of the Golden Chersonese, 248.

24 Folk-tale Section.

transformation is sometimes effected by a change of skins. If, therefore, the story be a foreign immigrant, it has contrived to masquerade uncommonly well in Karen dress. Perhaps we may venture to think it is indigenous among the Karens. But I am not arguing that here.

The Tjames, a people living on the borders of the French possessions in Annam, and descended from aborigines who inter- married with Malay invaders, relate a variant too lengthy now to examine minutely. ' I will only ask you to note that, among a number of widely varying details, the hero is in the form not of a tree-lizard, nor of any animal, but of a cocoa-nut, and that his bride burns his husk and persuades him to live with her in ordinary human shape.

Let us hasten on to another analogue found at the extremity of Africa. Unthlamvu-yetusi is the heroine of a Zulu tale. She wedded Umamba, who is said to have been wrapped by his mother at his birth in a snake's skin, and compelled always to appear as a snake. He requests his bride to anoint him with a certain pot of fat; but the first night she is afraid to touch him. The second night, however, she consents to anoint him; and then by his directions she is able to pull the snake-skin from off him, and finds him in human form. He afterwards discloses himself to every one at the marriage dance, and remains a man.^ I need not trouble you with the details of the Zulu customs referred to throughout the story; you will probably be willing to take them on trust. But as to the snake form assumed by the hero, it is interesting to know that the kind of snake referred to is one into which the Zulus hold that their chiefs turn after death. When these chiefs thus transformed enter a hut, they are believed not to enter by the doorway, but in some other mysterious man- ner; and a variant of the legend describes the hero (who, how- ever, is there called Unthlatu, or boa constrictor) as entering and leaving the hut after the door had been closed by his bride, and without opening it.^ There seems some Htde doubt as to the meaning, and even the authenticity, of the incident of the wrapping of the hero, when a babe, in the snake-skin. Most likely it is only

1 Landes, Contes Tjames, 9 ; L' Aiiihropologie, v, 186.

- Callaway, Tales, 322.

' Callaway, Rcl. System, 196 et seq.; Tales, 60.

The Chairman's Address. 25

a bit of modern native rationalism, patched into the story when it began to be felt as verging on the incredible that a man should be born as a serpent, though other supernatural occurrences were still readily accepted. But, in any case, the Zulus are firmly attached to the doctrine of transformation. They consider that baboons, wasps, lizards, and other animals, besides snakes, are really men living in another shape.

A narrative to a similar effect is told by the Yurucares, a tribe inhabiting the tropical forests on the eastern slopes of the Andes. AVith them it is part of a saga which accounts for the origin of their race and the present condition of their country. It is thus a link in their philosophy of the universe. We learn that a solitary maiden fell in love with a beautiful tree called Ule, laden with purple flowers. " She steadily looked at it with a feeling of tenderness, thinking to herself how she would love it if it were only a man. She painted herself with the juice of the arnotto fruit to heighten her charms and render herself attractive; she wept and sighed, waited and hoped. Her hope did not disappoint her; her love was powerful, and it produced a miraculous trans- formation ; the tree was changed into a man, and the young maiden

was happy. During the night Ul^ was at her side ; but

at morning dawn she perceived that she had been caressed by a shadow, for Ul^ had disappeared, and the young girl was again disconsolate, fearing that her happiness was only a passing dream. Making her mother her confidant, she communicated the thought that oppressed her heart, and, taking counsel together, they devised means to retain the young lover and prevent his escape. When the following night \]\€ came to make his betrothed bride happy, he found himself loaded with fetters that confined him to the spot. After four days had thus passed Uld promised to remain, and pledged himself by a formal marriage never to abandon his wife ; and upon this promise his liberty was restored to him.^

In all these examples we have the same series of incidents. A maiden is wedded to a mysterious youth who visits her by night, but suffers a strange metamorphosis and disappears by day. With her mother's help, or by the simple stress of her own affection for him, she compels him to retain human form and abide with her.

1 Fealherman, Soc. Hist. Rnccs of Mankind ; Chiapo- and Guarano-Marano- nians, 326.

26 Folk-tale Section.

The details vary as the circumstances and habits of the peoples who tell the story; but the central ideas remain always the same. And alike the central ideas and the details are found to be as much m harmony with the creed, the habits, and the environment of the narrators, whether Karen, Tjame, Zulu, or Yurucare, as were the central idea and the details of the kindred tale of Cupid and Psyche with the creed, the habits, and the environment of the Thessalian crone into whose mouth Apuleius put it in the second century of the Christian era. On the dissemination theory it may not be surprising if the same story, carried from one tribe to another of North American Indians, all in nearly the same stage of civilisation, be found to agree with the customs and beliefs of them all, seeing that their societies are all organised on the same general plan, and the external conditions do not greatly differ. But I have ventured to bring before you two instances in which the family likeness of the variants is quite as great as in Dr. Boas, examples. In the one case, where there had been contact with a foreign nation known to possess the tale, the foreign influence was indeed traceable, but only in details not essential. In other respects the story contained nothing alien to the native mind; on the contrary, it reflected aboriginal ideas and habits. In the other case, the story is found in remote continents divided by many thousand miles of land and ocean. Whether it was really transported over these vast spaces, or, if so, from what centre, we have at present no means of knowing. What we do know is that the several versions of the story reflect the culture of the Zulu kraal, the Karen long-house, the open shed of the Yurucares (is the kinship of Cupid and Psyche close enough for me to add — and the classic city?), with the accuracy of entirely indigenous growths. I have not chosen these instances because I deemed them favourable illustrations of my argument. I think I could have alighted easily on many at least as favourable. But, having come across them in my recent reading undertaken for another purpose, they were really the most readily at hand. And I would claim that if widely diffused stories, thus taken as it were at random, yield upon examination just those traits of civilisation which mark the peoples among whom they are known, the proba- bility is that a similar examination of other stories would give us parallel results. If so, then we may hereafter safely use a tradition

Tlie Chairman's Address. ' zy

as evidence of the ideas and the circumstances of those who tell it, caring nothing at all whether it originated among them or not. Some distinction may perhaps be needful in the use of tales believed to be true, and of tales told merely for pleasure. But even the latter, told among an ignorant folk, though not actually credited as statements of fact, must be exponents of ideas and of manners which have had currency, if not among themselves, at least among their forefathers in a not very remote past,i the re- membrance of which has not yet faded from the general memory, or the stories would have become unintelligible and been forgotten.

Having thus tried to show that the problem of dissemination is of quite subordinate importance, it remains for me, if I do not weary you, to add a few remarks of a more or less desultory character on the theory itself as presented in the light of what I have already said.

No one can doubt that dissemination has taken place. The hypothesis I stated so broadly just now as the anthropological theory of folk-tales cannot be held without qualification. Happily it is not requisite to hold it without qualification. The anthropo- logical theory of folk-tales no more excludes the possibility of multitudes of instances of dissemination than the anthropological theory of civilisation — the theory that the history of man is, on the whole, a history of progress — excludes the possibility of many a temporary and partial retrogression. The business of a theory is to explain facts, not to distort them. In Europe, for many hundred years, tales have passed from books into tradition, and back again from tradition into books, so that their transmission is to a large extent capable of being traced. This has been the case especially with some kinds of tales, like the apologue and the anecdote. Drolls, or comic tales, have obtained a wide circulation ; and there seems reason to believe that many of them are to be accounted for by direct verbal transmission. But mdrchen also, and even sagas, have sometimes been transmitted. Nobody, for example, can read La Lanterna Magica, obtained for Dr. Pitrd by Professor Letterio Lizio-Bruno, at Rocca Valdina, near Messina, or La Lanterna, a variant taken down by Dr. Pitre himself at Palermo, without being strongly impressed with the probability that this story has been derived directly from

1 Cf. Codiington, The Melanesiaiu, 356.

28 Folk-tale Section.

the Eastern story of Aladdin. Grimm's tale of Simeliberg, given also by Prohle, has a suspicious resemblance, too, to that of All Baba and the Forty Robbers. Now, the Arabs conquered Sicily, and may very well have brought their stories and left them behind with their blood. But they never conquered Germany ; and, what is still more perplexing, the name of the mountain, Semsi or Semeli (Sesam, Simson, or Simsimseliger, as it is in other variants), which presents the most suspicious point of all, is, so Grimm informs us, a very ancient {uralt) name for a mountain in Germany, where, in fact, it is found more than once ; and it appears also in a Swiss traditional song having nothing to do with The Forty Robbers. If, therefore, there has been any borrowing, the East has borrowed from the ^^'est, and not vice-versa. The story is very widespread ; and the incident of the opening of the magical door, or rock, is found all over the world. But in most cases the invocation is directly addressed to the door or the rock, as in the German stories. " Rock of Two Holes, open for me, that I may enter", is the formula in the Zulu tale. The genius in the Chinese tale says : " Stone door, open ; Mr. Kwei Ku is coming." In the Samoan saga of The Origin of Fire the formula is : " Rock, divide ! I am Talanga ; I have come to work." In a Tartar story from southern Siberia it is required to pronounce the name of God, the All-merciful, the All-compassionate.* In all these it is the name of the rock, or of its lord, which is the powerful word. So far as I know, there is only one instance, besides that of the Arabian Nights, where the name of any un- connected object is pronounced ; and the preservation in the tale of Ali Baba of the sound of the word in the German variants, while the sense is obviously lost, points to derivation of the former from the latter or from some allied tale, ^\'e do not know whence Galland obtained the tale of Ali Baba. It is not found in the MSB. of The Thousand Nights and a Night. But it is thoroughly Eastern in colouring ; and its derivation from one of the German variants, or any congener, must have been remote enough to admit of this colouring, as well as of the addition of the robbers' subsequent attempts against Ali Baba ; for these do not appear in the German versions. The other instance where the name of an

1 Callaway, Tales, 140, 142; Dcnnys, Folk-Ion- of China, 134; Tuiner, Nineteen Years in Polynesia, 252 ; Radloff, Proben, iv, 115.

The CJiairniaris Address. 29

objtct other than the rock or its lord is pronounced occurs in Sicily. In a tale from Termini-Imerese, told by a fisherman to Signor Giuseppe Patiri, the hero, Mastru Juseppi, is captured and enslaved by a band of twelve robbers, and he thus learns their magical formula, which is "Open, pepper !" He escapes, and enriches himself at the robbers' expense. The story follows that of Ali Baba, with adaptations, until, after his brother's funeral, the hero, who is a shoemaker, opens a new and larger shop than he had hitherto had. One day the leader of the band, disguised as a cavalier, comes and orders a pair of boots, and thenceforth gradually worming himself into the hero's confidence, he at length makes an offer of marriage with his daughter. The offer is accepted; and on a subsequent visit the robber introduces his followers into the house, with instructions to rush out of their hiding-place at a signal from him. But the hero's daughter, going into the pantry to get supper, is mistaken by one of the robbers for their leader, and asked: "Is it time, corporal?" This blunder, of course, issues in their discovery. Mastru Juseppi calls in the police; and the robbers are captured and punished for their crimes with death.i Here the magical word has diverged yet further from the German type. All similarity of sound has been abandoned. To the Sicilian peasant both sesame and pepper would be foreign plants vaguely known by name only. The reason which in the mind of an Oriental might have caused the German name for the mountain to be mistaken for that of a familiar grain, and which would have perpetuated the mistake once made, would have no application in Sicily ; and only remembering that the word was the name of a plant he knew little about, the Sicilian peasant would adopt whichever of such names came easiest to him. The termination of the story has been adapted too ; but it is a somewhat odd ending when the honest Mastru Juseppi runs for the police and gives the robbers up to justice.

Variants differing more widely than this from the tale of Ali Baba are found elsewhere on the northern and eastern shores of the island. " Open, pepper !" " Open, magpie !" {cicca, possibly a corruption of cece, chick-pease), " Open, tetima I" (perhaps a corruption of sesame), and " Open, door !" are the formulae

1 Pitr6, Biblioteca, v, 391.

30 Folk-tale Section.

in these.i Professor Rhys also records the incident of the opening of the magical door as occurring in a fairy tale the scene of which is laid at Ynys Geinon rock, in the Swansea valley. There the fairies have a golden ladder to reach a stone of three tons' weight lying upon the mouth of the pit that gives them access from their cave to the upper air. " They have a little word ; and it suffices if the foremost on the ladder merely utters that word, for the stone to rise of itself, while there is another word which it suffices the hindmost in going down to utter so that the stone shuts behind them." But what those words are is a secret known only to the fairies.^

Upon the whole, I think it probable that the Oriental and Sicilian versions have been derived (the latter through the former) from the German, but how or when I cannot pretend to say; though I am by no means sure that, underlying a version intro- duced from the East, there may not be in Sicily a native tale having an analogous plot. On the other hand, the Chinese, the Samoan, the Welsh, and the Zulu stories do not stand in any such relation to the German story, or to one another. They all equally point back to an archaic superstition found yet in full force in China, Polynesia, and South Africa, and of which traces, and more than traces, linger in Germany, Sicily, ^^'ales, and other European countries. To seek their origin, therefore, in a single centre is a problem of well-nigh the same character and con- ditions as when we search for the cradle of the human race.

In considering the question of the dissemination of folk-tales, a folk-tale ought not to be treated as if it were something apart from all other species of folk-lore. Divide the subject-matter of our science how we will, to study it profitably we must study its various sections side by side, remembering that they are all bound by the same general laws, their existence is dependent on similar conditions, and their relations with one another are often as closely interwoven as any of those which unite order to order of organised beings in the physical world. All kinds of traditions are transmissible from one person, or one set of persons, to another : a truism, this, asserted by the very name of Tradition. Tradition is a delivering, and a tradition is that which is delivered.

1 Pitr^, V, 389; Gonzenbacb, ii, 122, 197, 200 h., 251. - y Cymmrodor, vi, 199.

Tlie Chairman! s Address. 31

But some kinds of traditions are more easily delivered than others. A custom which requires the co-operation of a number of persons is less easily transmitted than one which requires only the co-operation of two, or which can be performed by one person alone. A long and complicated ceremony is less easily transmitted than a short and simple one. A nickname passes from mouth to mouth more rapidly than a proverb, a proverb more rapidly than a story, a story than a song. In short, the more complex the tradition the greater the difificulty of trans- mission, and the more it depends on frequent repetition and other circumstances calculated to impress it on the memories of the recipients. Thus, a story or a song is repeated over and over by mother to child. The words, hardly comprehended at first, become clear as the child's understanding grows, and are not only involved in his earliest reminiscences, but probably rendered indelible by reiteration by others in his hearing, or by himself to younger children, from time to time throughout his life. Few traditions, and as a rule those only of the simplest kinds, are transmitted by a single communication. It follows that traditions are not often transmitted by casual intercourse. Some kinds of traditions, indeed, are not communicated even during years, and perhaps a whole lifetime, of intercourse of an intimate character. In some cases a formal initiation ceremony, which is itself a tradition, and which confers upon the initiated certain rights, carrying with them, of course, corresponding liabilities, has to be undergone. And in many more cases the custodians of the tradition, if I may call them so, cannot be persuaded to commu- nicate it until they are assured of sympathy in the recipient. Apart from modern scientific inquirers, this sympathy can, in general, only be shown by one who is at no great distance of culture, and who therefore is familiar with ideas and practices not very widely difierent. Such an one can best receive and assimilate, and in his turn transmit, the tradition.

These considerations exhibit the difficulties of transmission from a foreign source. It cannot be denied that there is another side to the picture. The conditions for transmission, even of recondite and carefully guarded traditions, must have been ful- filled again and again in the world's history. Conquest followed by permanent settlement among the conquered people, the inter-

32 Folk-tale Section.

course of adjacent tribes not always hostile though alien in stock, the custom of exogamy, the enslavement or adoption of prisoners of war, are among the means by which even the most conserva- tive and isolated of communities have been penetrated with foreign traditions. In all these cases we have the conditions fulfilled whereby alone transmission is possible.

But if the difificulties of transmission from a foreign source be great, the difificulty of testing such transmission is equally great. I have already noticed this difificulty in passing; and I recur to it simply to instance one or two tests which have been found in- sufficient — by no means to discuss them fully. It is not in every case that evidence can be found so distinctly pointing towards an alien origin as in that of Ali Baba. In the story of Cinderella as given by Perrault the heroine wears slippers of glass {pantoufles de verre). Glass is a material so inconvenient for shoes that rational- istic mythologists have suggested, and M. Littrd in his dictionary positively asserts, that verre (glass) is a mistake for vair (fur). An examination of the variants, however, shows that M. Littrd and the rationalists are quite wrong. The material was intended to be brilliant and hard. A\'hy it should have been brilliant we need not now consider. That hardness was a quality in the original story is certain, because (though Perrault's polite version does not in- clude the episode) we find from many of the other versions that the elder sisters actually cut their feet to fit them into the shoe, and in the end were convicted of the imposture by their blood. Nor would a hard or a heavy material be objectionable in the eyes of peasants accustomed to the clumsiness and "the clang of the wooden shoon. But although the slippers are nearly everywhere of a substance brilliant and hard, they are very rarely formed of glass; and the glass slipper has been proposed as a test of Perrault's influence over traditional versions of the story.^ Miss Marian Roalfe Cox, who has examined and tabulated more than a hundred and fifty variants of Cinderella, informs me that only in three instances besides Perrault's does the glass slipper appear. Of these instances two are Scottish, one from the island of South Uist, the other from the neighbourhood of Glasgow, and the third is an Irish tale from Tralee. If we examine these tales, we find that the first is a version intermediate between the English tale of

1 W. R. S. Ralston in Ninelecrith Century, vi, 837 ; and F. L. Record, i, 75.

The Chairmatis Address. 33

Catskin and the Norse tale of Katie ^\'oodencloak. It has affinities for certain Italian variants, but the only point of contact with Cendrillon is the shoe of glass. In the second the deits ex machina is no fairy godmother, but a pet lamb who is killed by the stepmother, and who appears after death to dress, and bestow fairy gifts upon, the heroine. The prince falls in love with the heroine not at a ball but at church, and one of her stepsisters mutilates her own foot that she may get the slipper on ; but she is betrayed, and its true owner discovered, by the help of a raven. In short, except the stepmother — a very common character in European fairy tales — and the glass slipper, this version differs as widely from Perrault's as two variants of the same story can differ. The Irish tale diverges more remarkably still. The shoe — in this instance of blue glass — is worn not by a lady but by a hero, who, like Perseus, kills a dragon and rescues a king's daughter. He then rides off in the ill-mannered way he heroes of fairy tales sometimes affect, and is afterwards identified by means of the shoe, which the princess had caught from his foot in the vain effort to detain him.i Thus neither structure nor incident of any of these stories confirms the suspicion of French influence raised by the glass slipper common to them all. On the other hand, glass would seem to peasants in out-of-the-way places a material almost as pre- cious as, and probably stranger and therefore more magical, more fairy-like than, gold, while it fully satisfied the requirements of splendour and hardness.

The glass slipper is a feature of the tale of Cinderella quite as striking as the powerful words "Open, Sesame!" are of the tale of Ah Baba. And a little enquiry has thus made it apparent that even a striking feature occurring in two or more ^-L■rsions of the same story cannot be made evidence of the derivation of one \-ersion from the other, or any of the others — or e\-en of both, or all, from a com- mon source including the special feature — unless some other por- tions of the story coincide, and unless the special feature cannot be explained as a natural outgrowth of the story. But it may be comparatively easy to dispose of a single feature, or a single inci- dent; but not so easy to waive aside a series of incidents following in the same or a slightly varied order in two versions of the same story. It is difficult to deal with hypothetical cases. Every con-

1 CiJinpbell, Tales, i, 225 ; Archaological Rev., iii, 24 ; F.-L. Journal, i, 54.


34 Folk-tale Section.

Crete instance offered must be considered on its own merits, and in accordance with the principles I have endeavoured already to suggest to you. Many cases of dissemination are probably to be accounted for by the supposition that the tale was already known to the common ancestors of two or more tribes before they split off from the original stock. Dr. Boas, in the article I have already cited, uses the words "Dissemination from a common centre" vaguely enough to include such a process of diffusion as this, and some at least of the stories he refers to may thus be accounted for. Traditions found in remote corners of the world and among peoples of widely different culture, it must be admitted, cannot be dealt with in this way. If cases of dissemination at all, they are cases of transmission from a foreign nation. I mentioned some instances of this kind just now. In one case the same string of incidents was found in Europe at the south-eastern extremity of Asia, at the extremity of Africa, and in the heart of South America. I pointed out then that if transmission from a foreign nation had taken place, the story had been as completely absorbed into the mind of the Karen, of the Zulu, or of the Brazilian savage, and was as thoroughly incorporated with his civilisation and with his environment, as if it had originated where it was found in Burmah, in Zululand, or in the tropical forests of the Andes. I argued then that it mattered not to the anthropological student whether such a story owned a foreign parentage or not; it was equally evidence of the ideas and customs of the people who related it. Let me now invert the argument, and ask whether, when a story is as thoroughly incorporated as this with the civilisation and environ- ment of any people, it is possible to trace its transmission from abroad without direct and definite evidence of such a transmission. In the case of Ali Baba there was an imperfect adaptation to the environ- ment, and hence we had ground for suspecting such a transmission. We have definite external and internal evidence of the transmission of Perrault's tales into England. "We know that the reason of their adoption here was that they were products of practically the same stage of civilisation as ours. In them ideas familiar to us had been developed under influences only slightly differing from those affecting ourselves. And they came among us at a time and in a manner peculiarly favourable for their adoption and propaga- tion here. Had they come among us two centuries, or even one

The Chairman s Address. 35

century, earlier than the_v did, it is very doubtful whether they would have found a home here. We have positive literary evidence of the transmission from one country to another of the stories embodied in .-^sofs Fables and The Seven Wise Masters. But, in the absence of such direct and unmistakeable evidence, is it more reasonable to think that a story has been transmitted from abroad than that it has been evolved from within with the evolu- tion of the culture of which, in the case supposed, it forms an intimate and indistinguishable part ? Most of the stories in this category will be found to be developments of a single theme, where the incidents follow naturally in their order. If such a story can be evolved once, why may it not be independently evolved twice, thrice, fifty times? AVhich is more likely — that an analogous series of incidents should have been invented separately by more tribes than one, all in stages of civilisation in which the ideas expressed in the story are commonly known and accepted, or that all the tribes among which it is current, save one, should have taken it over from a foreign people? In judging of this we must set the conservative and exclusive instincts of savages over against their imitative instincts.

But there is a further consideration we must not overlook, namely, that with few exceptions all plots are nothing but changes rung upon the universalcharacteristicsof human life — birth, death, the passions, the relations of husband and wife, parent and child, master and slave, and so forth. These universal characteristics are limited in number ; and though their combinations may be manifold, yet certain sequences are much more readily suggested than others. Moreover, in the same plane of civilisation the same sequences in tales are frequently worked out independently, even to minute details. \\'e deal with traditional fiction only ; and indeed the science of literary fiction has yet to be invented. When it is invented we may expect some remarkable results. It might be thought that civilised life, with its greater complexity, would offer a greater variety of plots to the story-teller than savage life can offer. Where two geniuses, however, of the highest order come to relate a story of unfounded conjugal jealousy and of wife- murder, the substance and even many of the accidents of Othello are reproduced in Kenilworth, down to the last damning proof of Amy's guilt afforded by her embroidered glove, which Varney

36 Folk-tale Section.

brings to Leicester as lago brought Desdemona's handkerchief to the Moor of Venice. True : Sir \\'alter Scott may have been influenced by unconscious reminiscences of Othello ; but I think this is less Hkely than that, given the central idea, the sequences were such as were naturally suggested. An examination of the plots of more recent novels by writers who cannot be suspected of plagiarism would, I have little doubt, confirm this opinion, by showing to how large an extent those plots are but variations of a few themes, and how frequently the situations are indeed identical. Curious illustrations occur from time to time of what I may call parallel invention. One such illustration within the last few months will jirobabl)' be remembered b)- those of >'0U who read the English literary periodicals. A fictitious sketch, narrating the last vision and death of an unsuccessful author, appeared in July 1890 in the Newbery House Magazine. A story practically the same was published in February 1891, in Macmillan's Magazine, written by a different hand. The coincidences of plot, of incident, and occa- sionally of expression, were so extraordinary that the writer of the story which had first appeared called attention to it in The Academy. But it turned out that plagiarism was out of the ques- tion, for the second story had been in possession of the editor of Maaiiillan's Magazine before the first appeared in Newbery House Magazine. Mr. Walter Besant, himself a novelist of eminence and a student of tradition, commenting in The Author on the matter, mentioned that a story from a distant country had a few weeks before gone " the round of .some of the papers"- — by which I understand him to mean that it was circulated as a fiction. It was then discovered (i) "that the leading incident had been invented and used by a novelist quite recently; (2) that the lead- ing incident was used in an American magazine ten years ago ; (3) that the leading incident was used by Charles Reade fifteen years ago. Now, I have not the least doubt", adds Mr. Besant, " that in each of these cases the invention was entirely original."

Cases of parallel invention like these, where the authentication is complete, may well give us pause before we assert that such and such an incident — ay, or such and such a plot — could noX. have been invented twice. With these in our mind we shall at least avoid fixing our eyes only on the savage's imitative faculties. A\'e shall be prepared to admit something more than a possibility that the

The C/iainnaii's Address. 37

same story may have sprung into existence in more than one place, despite resemblances which hardly seem — and which in truth are iiof — accidental. They are the necessary result of the working of the same laws of mental association in similar circum- stances. Given an analogous state of culture, then, with the limited number of universal characteristics of human life, and the sequences which they naturally suggest in that state of culture, the probable modifications of plot and incident must be compara- tively few.

I have spoken only of folk-tales ; but our section of the Congress includes also folk-songs, ^\'e English must admit that we have done very little for the scientific study of ballads and folk-songs. The monumental work on English and Scottish ballads now m course of publication by Professor Child is to our shame an American undertaking. Count Nigra has issued a great work on the ballads and songs of his native Piedmont. And other writers have illustrated the folk-poetry of various countries, while we have done but little. The names of Ralston, Cover, and the Countess Martinengo-Cesaresco are almost all we can mention among English authors who have rendered service in this department of tradition. This is not creditable to us; and it is all the more to be regretted from the point of view I have ventured to take this morning, because it seems likely that the study of folk-poetry may have something to say on the problem of transmission. A ballad or a song is a more consciously artistic work than a tale. Not only must it develop the plot or the sentiment, but it has to conform to certain rules of metre, and usually to certain rules of rhyme. It thus offers a far greater number of opportunities for comparison than a folk-tale, and must consequently ensure greater certainty in the results arrived at. Can we venture to indulge the hope that the Congress of 1891 may induce some competent student to in- terest himself in this branch of our work ? Professor Child's as well as M. Nigra's collection of analogues deserves and requires the most careful consideration. Nor should the study of folk-poetry be limited to European verse. The songs, ritual and narrative, of races in the lower culture are a mine well-nigh unwrought, and are calculated to yield important contributions to science, not only on the question of transmission, but probably on many other ques- tions.

38 Folk -tale Section.

In pointing out to you, as I have done this morning, what I venture to think is the minor importance of the place of origin of a tradition, and some of the difficulties of testing its transmission from an alien birthplace, I have run the risk of v^^earying you by saying at greater length than I had intended what is perhaps not particularly new. But I hope I may be absolved from what you may deem the lesser sin of exhibiting too active a partisanship in this chair. A story is told (I offer this to you as a genuine, if modern, tradition) of a judge in the Far West, who when the plaintiff and his witnesses had given evidence, declined to hear the defendant, saying : " Stop, stop ! my mind is now made up, and you will only unsettle it." This may, or may not, have hap- pened in a court of law : in the court of opinion it happens daily. Nothing in disputed questions is commoner than to close the mind against one set of arguments ; the decision then becomes charm- ingly easy. If I have tried to place before you some arguments on one side, I trust I have shown myself at the same time not altogether insensible to the weight of arguments on the other side. I hope I have made it clear that I do not undervalue researches which have for their object to trace the migration of traditions. Every inquiry conducted in a truly scientific spirit must advance our knowledge and sometimes in ways none the less valuable because unexpected. It is the pursuit of knowledge, the search for truth, in relation to the past history of our race which draws us together here. It is with this we are concerned, and not, I hope, with any merely dialectic victory. I for one am ready to welcome any new argument, any fresh information, be its effect what it may. Nor do I envy the man who, whatever his opinions, is unwiUing to look the contrary opinions full in the face, judge them in the light of reason, and take the consequences.

Mr. A. R. Wright, of Her Majesty's Patent Office, a member of the Congress, has since courteously furnished me with the following note based on his experience in the Patent Office: "As regards the probability of the parallel invention of folk-tales, there may be found in the history of mechanical and chemical invention indications even more suggestive than the unconscious plagiarisms of literature. Unlike the author, the inventor has known that plagiarism on his part, or even the unwitting agreement of his invention with some- thing published (not necessarily patented) in any form at an earlier

The Chairman s Address. 39

date, would invalidate any patent of protection which might be granted to him. The Patent Laws, alike in England and abroad, are intended to afford protection to 'the true and first inventor', and to him alone. In Russia, for example, protection was refused to the Bessemer steel process because the English Blue-Book containing the publication of the English patent of the same inventor was held to be an anticipation. In England, actions at law involving the question of the novelty of particular inventions have' been known from the first institution of the Patent Laws, early in the seventeenth century; and, excluding cases of fraud, etc., there would appear to be a proportion of cases of parallel invention. Many modern inventions, also, like certain folk-tales, appear to consist merely of new com- binations of old elements, the novelty lying' either in their re- arrangement or in a different choice of elements from any previously made. Possibly some folk-tales are the result of similar attempts at novelty. From the danger of invalidation from lack of novelty, and from the heavy fees payable (until A.D. 1884), application for a patent would seem at least to imply that the inventor himself usually believed his invention to be novel ; and if it can be shown that cases of parallel invention are numerous, the evidence would be of some value as regards the origin of folk-tales. It may, therefore, be well to make some examination of the public records of applications for patents and to report the result in FOLK-LORE. For example, I believe it would be found that the attempts to obtain perpetual motion, which for more than two centuries has been the subject-matter of applications for patents, mostly fall into groups of variants of a few hydraulic and mechanical radicles, the variants differing no more than many folk-tale variants. Mr. Wright adds that modern patents are of little use in this connection, on account of the rapid and wide dissemination of germ-ideas, and that when writing he had not had time to search the older records, which are not of easy reference ; but that he has no doubt of being able to produce cases in point, if the evidence be thought valuable.



With Remarks by William Wells Newell.

A POOR woman, living on the edge of a wood, came at last where she found nothing in the cupboard for next day's breakfast. She called the boy Reuben, and said : " You must now go into the wide world, for if you stay here there will be two of us to starve. I have nothing for you but this piece of black bread. On the other side of the forest lies the world. Find your way to it, and earn your living honestly." She bade him good-bye, and he started. He knew his way some distance out into the blackest part of the forest, for he had often gone there for faggots. But after walking all day he saw no path or tree, and knew that he was lost. Still he travelled on and on, as long as the daylight lasted, and then lay down and slept.

The next morning he ate his black bread, and walked on all day. At night he saw lights before him, and was guided by them to a large palace. At last the door was opened, and a lovely lady appeared. She said, as she saw him, " Go away as quickly as you can. My father will soon come home, and he will surely eat you." Reuben said, "Can't you hide me, and give me something to eat, or I shall fall dead at your door?" At first she refused, but afterwards yielded to Reuben's prayers, and told him to come in and hide behind the oven. Then she gave him food, and told him that her father was a giant, who ate men and women. Perhaps she could keep him overnight, as she already had supper prepared. After awhile, the giant came banging at the door, shouting, " Featherflight, let me in, let me in. As she opened the door, he came in, saying, " Where have you stowed the man ? I smelt him all the way through that wood." Featherflight said : " O father, he is nothing but a poor little thin boy; he would make but half a mouthful, and his bones

1 Told to Mrs. Jo.seph B. Warner, Cambridge. Ma'ss., by her aunt, Miss Elizabeth Hoar, Concord, Mass.

Newell.— 7.^?^^,' Fcaiherfliglit. 41

would stick in your throat ; and besides he wants to work for you ; perhaps you can make him useful. But sit down to supper now, and after supper I will show him to you." So she set before him half of a fat heifer, a sheep, and a turkey, which he swallowed so fast that his hair stood on end. When he had finished, Featherflight beckoned to Reuben, who came trembling from behind the oven. The giant looked at him scornfully, and said, " Indeed, as you say, he is but half a mouthful. But there is room for flesh there, and we must fatten him up for a few days ; meanwhile, he must earn his victuals. See here, my young snip, can you do a day's work in a day ? " and Reuben answered bravely, " I can do a day's work in a day as well as another. So the giant said, " Well, go to bed now ; I will tell you in the morning your work." So Reubea went to bed, and Lady Feather- flight showed him ; while the giant lay down on the floor, with his head in Featherflight's lap, and she combed his hair and brushed his head, until he went fast asleep.

The next morning, Reuben was called bright and early, and was taken out to the farmyard, where stood a large barn, unroofed by a late tempest. Here the giant stopped and said : " Behind this barn you will find a hill of feathers; thatch me this barn with them, and earn your supper; and look you, if it be not done when I come back to-night, you shall be fried in meal, and eaten whole for supper." Then he left, laughing to himself as he went down the road.

Reuben went bravely to work, and found a ladder and basket ; he filled the basket, ran up the ladder, and then tried hard to make a beginning on the thatch. As soon as he placed a handful of feathers, half would fly away, as he wove them in. He tried for hours with no success, until, at last, half of the hill was scattered to the four winds, and he had not finished a hand- breadth of the roof. Then he sat down at the foot of the ladder, and began to cry, when out came Lady Featherflight with the basket on her arm, which she set down at his feet, saymg, " Eat now, and cry afterwards. Meantime I will try to think what I can do to help you." Reuben felt cheered, and went to work, while Lady Featherflight walked round the barn, singing as she

went :

" Birds of land and birds of sea. Come and thatch this roof for me."

42 Folk-tale Section.

As she walked round the second time, the sky grew dark, and a heavy cloud hid the sun and came nearer and nearer to the earth, separating at last into hundreds and thousands of birds. Each, as it flew, dropped a feather on the roof, and tucked it neatly in ; and when Reuben's meal was finished the thatch was finished too.

Then Featherflight said, " Let us talk and enjoy ourselves till my father the giant comes home." So they wandered round the grounds and the stables, and Lady Featherflight told of the treasure in the strong-room, till Reuben wondered why he was born without a sixpence. Soon they went back to the house, and Reuben helped, and Lady Featherflight prepared supper, which to-night was fourteen loaves of bread, two sheep, and a jack- pudding by way of finish, which would almost have filled the little house where Reuben was born.

Soon the giant came home, thundered at the door again, and shouted, " Let me in ! Let me in 1" Featherflight served him with the supper already laid, and the giant ate it with great relish. As soon as he had finished, he called to Reuben and asked him about his work. Reuben said, " I told you I could do a day's work in a day as well as another. You'll have no fault to find." The giant said nothing, and Reuben went to bed. Then, as before, the giant lay down on the floor, with his head in Featherflight's lap. She combed his hair and brushed his head, till he fell fast asleep. The next morning the giant called Reuben into the yard, and looked at his day's work. All he said was, " This is not your doing, and he proceeded to a heap of seed, nearly as high as the barn, saying, " Here is your day's work. Separate the seeds, each into its own pile. Let it be done when I come home to-night or you shall be fried in meal, and I shall swallow you bones and all." Then the giant went off down the road, laughing as he went. Reuben seated himself before the heap, took a handful of seeds, put corn in one pile, rye in another, oats in another, and had not begun to find an end of the different kinds when noon had come and the sun was right overhead. The heap was no smaller, and Reuben was tired out. So he sat down, hugged his knees, and cried. Out came Featherflight, with a basket on her arm, which she put down before Reuben, saying, " Eat now, and cry after." So Reuben

N-EW'ELL.—Ladv Featherflis;ht. 43

ate with a will, and Lady Featherflight walked round and round the table, singing as she went :

" Birds {sic) of earth and birds of sea. Come and sort this seed for me.

As she walked rt)und the heap for the second time, still singing, the ground about her looked as if it was moving. From behind each grain of sand, each daisy stem, each blade of grass, there came some little insect, grey, black, brown, or green, and began to work at the seeds. Each chose out one kind, and made a heap by itself. When Reuben had finished a hearty meal, the great heap was divided into coun'less others, and Reuben and Lady Featherflight walked and talked to their heart's content for the rest of the day. As the sun went down, the giant came home, thundered at the door again, and shouted, " Let me in ! Let me in!"

Featherflight greeted him with his supper, already laid, and he sat down and ate with a great appetite four fat pigs, three fat pullets, and an old gander. He finished off with a jack-pudding. Then he was so sleepy he could not keep his head up ; all he said was, " Go to bed, youngster ! I'll see your work to-morrow." Then, as before, the giant laid himself down on the floor with his head in Featherflight's lap. She combed his hair and brushed his head, and he fell fast asleep.

The next morning, the giant called Reuben into the farmyard earlier than before. " It is but fair to call you early, for I have work, more than a strong man can well do." He showed him a heap of sand, saying, " Make me a rope, to tether my herd of cows, that they may not leave the stalls before milking-time." Then he turned on his heel, and went down the road laughing.

Reuben took some sand in his hands, gave one twist, threw it down, went to the door, and called out, "Featherflight, Feather- flight, this is beyond you ! I feel myself already rolled in meal and swallowed, bones and all !"

Out came Featherflight, saying with good cheer, " Not so bad as that. Sit down, and we will plan what to do." They talked and planned all the day. Just before the giant came home, they went up to the top of the stairs to Reuben's room ; then Feather- flight pricked Reuben's finger and dropped a drop of blood on each of the three stairs. Then she came down and prepared the

44 Folk- tale Section.

supper, which to-night was a brace of turkeys, three fat geese, five fat hens, six fat pigeons, seven fat woodcocks, and half a score quail, with a jack-pudding.

When he had finished, the giant turned to Featherflight with a growl : " Why so sparing of food to-night ? Is there no good meal in the larder ? This boy whets my appetite. Well for you, young sir, if you have done your work. Is it done?" "No, sir," said Reuben, boldly ; " I said I could do a day's work in a day as well as another, but no better." The giant said : "Featherflight, prick him for me with a larding-needle, hang him in the chimney- corner well wrapped in bacon, and give him to me for my early breakfast." Featherflight says, " Ves, father." Then, as before, the giant laid himself down on the floor with his head in Feather- flight's lap. She combed his hair and brushed his head, and he fell fast asleep.

Reuben goes to bed, his room at the top of the stairs. As soon as the giant is snoring in bed, Featherflight softly calls Reuben, and says, " I have the keys of the treasure-house ; come with me." They open the treasure-house, take out bags of gold and silver, and loosen the halter of the best horse from the best stall in the best stable. Reuben mounts, with Featherflight behind, and off they go. At three o'clock in the morning, not thinking of his order the night before, the giant wakes, turns over, and says, "Reuben, get up." "Yes, sir, says the first drop of blood. At four o'clock the giant wakes, and says, " Reuben, get up. " Yes, sir, says the second drop of blood. At five o'clock the giant turns over, and says, "Reuben, get up." "Yes, sir," says the third drop of blood. At six o'clock the giant wakens, turns over, and says, " Reuben, get up," and there was no answer.

Then with a great fury he says, "Featherflight has overslept herself; my breakfast won't be ready." He rushed to Featherflight's room ; it is empty. He dashes downstairs to the chimney-corner, to see if Reuben is hanging there, and finds neither Reuben nor Featherflight.

Then he suspects they have run away, and rushes back for his seven-leagued boots, but cannot find the key under his pillow. He rushes down, finds the door wide open, catches up his boots, and rushes to the stable. There he finds the best horse from the best stall in the best stable gone. Jumping into his boots,

Newell. — Lady FeatherfligJit. 45

he flies after them swifter tlian the wind. The runaways had been galloping for several hours, when Reuben hears a sound behind him, and turning, sees the giant in the distance. " O Featherflight, Featherflight, all is lost!" But Featherflight says, " Keep steady, Reuben; look in the horse's right ear, and throw- behind you over your right shoulder what you find." Reuben looks, finds a little stick of wood, throws it over his right shoulder, and there grows up behind them a forest of hard wood. " We are saved," says Reuben. " Not so certain," says Lady Feather- flight ; " but prick up the horse, for we have gained some time. The giant went back for an axe, but soon hacked and hewed his way through the wood and was on the trail again. Reuben again heard a sound, turned and saw the giant, and said to Lady Featherflight, " All is lost !" " Keep steady, Reuben," says Featherflight ; " look in the horse's left ear, and throw over your left shoulder what you find." Reuben looked, found a drop of water, throws it over his left shoulder, and between them and the giant there arises a large lake, and the giant stops on the other side, and shouts, " How did you get over ?" Featherflight says, "We drank, and our horses drank, and we drank our way through." The giant shouts scornfully back, " Surely I am good for what you can do," and he threw himself down, and drank, and drank, and drank, and then he burst.

Now they go on quietly till they come near to a town. Here they stop, and Reuben says, " Climb this tree and hide in the branches till I come with the parson to marry us. For I must buy me a suit of fine clothes before I am seen with a gay lady like yourself." So Featherflight climbed the tree with the thickest branches she could find, and waited there, looking between the leaves into a spring below. Now this spring was used by all the wives of the townspeople to draw water for breakfast. No water was so sweet anywhere else ; and early in the morning they all came with pitchers and pails for a gossip, and to draw water for the kettle. The first who came was a carpenter's wife, and as she bent over the clear spring, she saw, not herself, but Feather- flight's lovely face reflected in the water. She looks at it with astonishment, and cries, " What, I a carpenter's wife, and so handsome ? No, that I won't !" and down she threw the pitcher, and off she went.

46 Folk-tale S.ection.

The next who came was the potter's wife, and as she bent over the clear spring, she saw, not herself, but FeatherfJight's lovely face reflected in the water. She looks at it with astonishment, and cries, " What, I a potter's wife, and so handsome? No, that I won't !" and down she threw the pitcher, and off she went. [In the same way all the wives of the men of the village came to the spring, see the reflection, throw down their pitchers, and depart.]

All the men in the town began to want their breakfast, and one after another went out into the market-place to ask if by chance anyone had seen his wife. Each came with the same question, and all received the same answer. All had seen them going, but none had seen them returnmg. They all began to fear foul play, and all together walked out toward the spring. When they reached it, they found the broken pitchers all about the grass, and the pails, bottom upwards, floating on the water. One of them, looking over the edge, saw the face reflected, and knowing it was not his own, looked up. Seeing Lady Featherflight, he called to his comrades, "Here is the witch, here is the enchantress. She has bewitched our wives ; let us kill her. And they began to drag her out of the tree, in spite of all she could say. Just at this moment Reuben comes up, galloping back on his horse, with the parson up behind. You would not know the gaily- dressed cavalier to be the poor ragged boy who passed over the road so short a time before. As he came near he saw the crowd, and shouted, "What's the matter? What are you doing to my wife ?" The men shouted, " We are hanging a witch ; she has bewitched our wives, and murdered them, for all that we know." The parson bade them stop, and let Lady Featherflight tell her own story. When she told them how their wives had mistaken her face for theirs, they were silent a moment, and then one and all cried, " If we have wedded such fools they are well sped," and turning, walked back to the town. The parson married Reuben and Lady Featherflight on the spot, and christened them from water of the spring, and then went home with them to the great house that Reuben had bought as he passed through the town. There the newly-married pair lived happily for many months, until Reuben began to wish for more of the giant's treasure, and proposed that they should go back for it. But they could not cross the water. Lad)' Featheiflight said, "Why not

Newell.— Za^j/ Featherflight. 47

build abridge?" And the bridge was built. They went over with waggons and horses, and brought so heavy a load that, as the last waggonful passed over the bridge, it broke, and the gold was lost. Reuben lamented, and said, " Now we can have nothing more from the giant's treasure-house." But Lady Featherflight said, " Why not mend the bridge ?"

So the bridge was mended, And my story's ended.

Remarks on the Tale.

This tale was obtained from a metnber of a highly intelligent family in Massachusetts, in which it has been traditional. I have observed, in New England, that in folk-literature the best versions of tales and games are found in the possession of educated persons. The truth is, I believe, that Enghsh popular literature, like that of other countries, has been the property, not only of the inferior portion of the community, but also of the most intelligent class ; incoherence and vulgarity are the result of transmission, through illiterate persons, of material which, in former centuries, was in circulation among the superior part of the nation. This circumstance must be taken into account in framing a definition of folk-lore ; if the word folk is to be defined, in the language of early dictionaries, as pkbs or vulgus, it must be admitted that our own grandmothers belonged to the vulgar : in the words of the President of the American Folk-lore Society, the folk must be taken to include " (i) all savages ; (2) the old-fashioned people ; (3) the children ; and (4) all of us when we are old-fashioned. "^

Of all folk-tales, this is perhaps the most widely diffused. In the course of remarks on a Scottish version of the story, Mr. Andrew Lang has remarked that no human composition would seem to have attained so wide a circulation as the work of the unknown author. The force of this observation will be made clear by the comparisons presently to be offered.

Other English versions are as follows : (i) In Scottish dialect,

1 O. T. Mason, " The Natural History of Folk-lore," [ournai of American Folk-lore, iv, 1891, 97.

48 Folk-tale Section.

" Nicht, Nocht, Nothing"'; (z) from Ireland, "The Story ot ( irey Norris from Warland"- ; (3) " The Three Tasks," also from Ireland, but a literary recension-'^ ; (4) from Jamaica, a

' Revue Celtique, iii, 1878, 374, communicated by Andrew Lang; reprinted in FoLK-LoRE, i, 1890, 192. Incidents: i Introductioti. — A king, rescued in a wilderness by a giant, gives promise of Nothings which turns out to mean a newly born son. Next day the giant carries off the boy, after an unsuccessful attempt is made to substitute the hen-wife's son, etc. ; the child is reared in the giant's house, and becomes fond of the giant's daughter. 11. Tasks and Flight. — The giant sets the hero certain tasks, on penalty of being eaten in case of failure, l^hese are : to clean a stable, drain a lake, steal eggs from a nest ; they are accom- plished by the girl. In the last task she gives the youth her fingers and toes, in order to make steps ; one is broken, and she advises flight. The giant is drowned in pursuit. m. Forgetfulness oj the Bride (this section is abbreviated and con- fused). — Incident of the well, as in " Lady Featherflight"; the gardener's daughter and wife refuse to draw water, and the gardener carries the girl to his house. At the proposed wedding of the hero she tries to waken him, and calls him by name ; this leads to recognition on the part of his parents, and to a happy ending, Mr. Lang has discussed the mdrchen in his Custom and Myth, London, 1885, " A Far-travelled Tale," in which he makes the remark above cited.

^ Folk-lore Joitrnal,\, li^"^, '^^6. i Introdtcction. — This is complicated ; the king's son loses in a game of ball, and is charged by" Old Grey Norris" to discover, by the end of the year, the place where he lives. The prince is directed by a cook, sister of a giant, to inquire of her brother ; he gets a magic reel, a cake, and breast-milk. The giant, when found, sends the hero to a second giant, and the latter to a third, wlio calls an eagle, by which the youth is conveyed to the dominions of Old Grey Norris ; he is, however, obliged to feed the bird with his own flesh, ij. Bird-tiiatden. — The eagle points out a lake, where he bids the hero seize the robes of a swan-maiden, and keep these until she promises to do him a good turn. ni. Tasks and Flight. — Old Grey Norris receives the youth coldly, and imposes upon him certain taslis (to find needle in dirty stable, build a bridge ot feathers, chop down a forest, fetch a bull from a field). These are accomplished by the swan-maiden, daughter of Grey Norris. Use of cow-dung to answer for the absent girl ; throwing of magic objects to impede pursuit (pups to stop the giant's bitch, drops of water turning to sea, needle to forest of iron). iv. Bride-for- getting The hero, violating the heroine's injunction, having gone in advance,

kisses his dog, and is caused to forget. Incident of the well ; the girl, at the wedding of the prince, appears as a juggler, bringing a cock and a hen, which perform a drama representing the history, by which the memory of the youth is refreshed.

■' W. Carleton, Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry, 5th ed., London. 1864. I. Jnirt>dticlioii.-~}?ick loses at play with a Black Man, whom he engages to serve after a year and a day. At the end of this time he proceeds to the Black Man's castle, where he sees a beautiful lady. n. Tasks and Flight. — On pain of death, the hero is required to clean a stable, catch a filly, and rob a crane's nest : these ate accomplished by the magic of the girl. In the last task he loses one 01

Newell.— Z«^ Featherflight. 49

tale printed as of African origin, but evidently imported from Europe.^

The name " Lady Featherflight" appears not to correspond to any part of the story as now told, but to belong to an omitted section, which gave an account of the manner in which the hero, while proceeding in search of the giant's castle, captures the garments of a bird-maiden, and consents to return these only on condition of succour. The title of the heroine seems to refer to her original bird-plumage. ^

her toes, given him for steps, and flight follows. The magic objects are a twig, a pebble, and a bottle of water ; the latter produces a sea, in which the giant is drowned. in. Bride-forgetting. — Jack separates from his bride, violates her injunction by kissing a dog, and forgets her. The end is altered.

^ M. G Lewis, Journal of a West India Proprietor, London, 1834; re- printed in Folk-lore Journal, i, 1883, Z84. i. Introduction. — Head-man in Africa loses at play to a young nobleman, is required to go to court, and gets directions from his nurse as to how to proceed. 11. The nurse directs him as to the manner in which he shall find the king's daughter bathing. He obtains possession of the dress of the princess, and makes her promise, as condition of its return, that no harm shall happen to him on that day. ni. Tasks and Flight. — The youth, received by the head-man, is required to point out the maiden among her three sisters. These appear as black dogs ; one lifts the paw, and is re- cognised. According to the law of the country, a maid must be given in marriage to one who thus recognises her. The magic objects are rose, pebble, phial of water. The giant is drowned. Finally, the princess goes to court and establishes her husband and herself as head-man and head-woman ; since this time all kings of Africa have been benevolent. In the tale, the incidents of finding the garments, and choice among the three sisters, are repeated with variations. The tale seems modified from an original form closely corresponding to the Irish version cited above, and may have been an importation from England or Ireland.

2 See the Irish and West Indian stories already mentioned. In the correspond- ing French tale, given by E. Cosquin, Contes pop. de Lorraine, Paris, 1886, No. 32, " Chatte Blanche," the story proceeds as follows : j. A youth loses at play, and, as a penalty, is required to seek the victor, in the Black Forest, at the end of a year and a day. 11. A fairy tells him that he will find Trois Plumes bathing ; he is to take the robes of the youngest ; this he does, and is instructed by her as to his course, in. Tasks : choice among the three daughters ; flight, ending in the transformation of the girl into various shapes ; she gives, in her altered form, misleading information to the pursuing giant, iv. The last section, bride- forgetfulness, is altered and confused. The name. La plume verte, seems to corre- spond to Featherflight. In some tales of this type, the introduction resembles that of " Lady Featherflight" — a youth, his mother being poor, goes to seek employment.

The admirable notes of E. Cosquin will be used in the following discussion ; some repetition may be excused by the difference of purpose, the object being to

examine the tale as a whole.


50 Folk-tale Section.

From a comparison of the English versions, it would appear that our tale, as narrated in England, formerly included the following incidents : i. Introduction. — This explains how it came about that a youth is obliged to proceed in quest of the castle of a giant. ii. Bird-maiden. — The hero surprises three bird- maidens, bathing in human form ; he seizes the feather-dress of the youngest, and returns it only on promise of assistance in his enterprise, iii. Tasks and Flight. — The giant, father of the maiden, receives the stranger with severity, and imposes on him certain tasks, which are, however, accomplished by the magic arts of the daughter. The youth is then required to choose the maid, in disguise, from among her sisters ; in this he succeeds by the counsel of the girl. On the wedding night, by the advice of the bride, the pair escape, leaving an object which by art- magic is made to answer the questions asked by the giant. A pursuit takes place, which is arrested by throwing out certain magical objects, interposing barriers ; the giant perishes, being drowned in the sea created by drops of water, iv. Forgetfulness of the Bride. — -The hero, as he approaches his father's city, goes in advance to arrange for the suitable entry of his bride. He violates her caution, receives a kiss, and is caused to fall into oblivion of the lady. Incident of the fountain ; the bride is carried to the house of a peasant, whose wife and daughter, out of conceit of their own beauty, have abandoned household labour. After a time, when the prince is about to wed another, his bride, disguised as a juggler, appears at the ceremony, and by magic causes two birds to enact a drama, which has the effect of reviving the youth's memory.

To the tale as thus analysed correspond a great number of ver- sions, from all European countries, which assume as their common original a story containing the sections and traits indicated. The variations, of course, are numerous, and these variations are often reproduced in many widely separated countries ; this corre- spondence appears to be due to a continual intercommunication, by which even modern alterations of the narrative have been introduced into remote districts, and have obtained general circulation.!

1 A good example is to be found in the incident of the reflection in the fountain ; in the form of the tale as given in " Lady Featherflight" this is purely literary ; the

Newell.— Za^ Featherflight 51

To the English tale correspond a number of Gaelic mdrchen: in particular, a well-known tale of the Highlands of Scotland agrees very closely with the Scotch dialectic form of the English tale, even in respect to the introduction, the most divergent part of the narrative.! The only manner in which I can explain this resemblance is by the hypothesis of recent transmission ; I

clumsy peasant women are made to furnish the mirth of the reader. But other versions give quite a different character to the occuirence ; thus, in an Italian tale, while the heroine, in the tree, awaits the return of her lover, a servant who comes to draw water notices the reflection in the well ; becoming envious, the servant climbs the tree, and fixes in the head of the beauty a pin, which transforms the latter into a dove. At the wedding, the bird flies to the palace, and by her song attracts the attention of the prince, who, while stroking the bird, draws out the pin, and a retransformation takes place. (G. Pitr^, Fiabe, novelle e racconti fop. Sicil., Palermo, 1875, No. 13, i, 118, "La Bella Rosa".)

Basile, Pentamerone (1574), gives versions answering to the incident as narrated in " Lady Featherflight". One trait of the latter is exceedingly interesting. The hero goes to seek a priest to perform the marriage ; and this priest christens the lovers. Variants — e, g.^ a Basque version — explains this procedure : the heroine (as a fairy) could not enter a Christian land until baptised (W. Webster, Basque Legtifids, London, 1879, p. 120). The presence of this trait is thus the best possible proof of the independence and antiquity of the version found in America. As a second reason is given the intention to provide a suitable equipment, as mentioned in Basile. Thus this form of the marchen, even in details, is older than the sixteenth century.

Mr. Lang observes, as a curious fact, that the fountain incident occurs in the Malagasy tale mentioned below ; but this is an error ; the whole section of the forgotten bride appears in European versions only. Yet compare the ending of Samoan and Eskimo tales, hereafter noted.

1 J. F. Campbell, Fop. Tales of the West Highlands, No. 2, i. Introduc- tion. — A raven, helped by a prince against a snake, carries the latter in the air, and sends him to the raven's sister ; so on the second day ; on the third day he meets the prince in human form, gives him a bundle, and sends him back on the same journey. The bundle contains a castle ; this the prince opens in the wrong place ; a giant, on promise of first son, helps him to repack the bundle. Finally, he opens the bundle, and in the castle finds a wife. After seven years, the giant comes to get the promised son ; unsuccessful attempt to substitute cook's son, etc. The giant carries off the king's son, and takes him into service. 11. Bride-winning. — During the absence of the giant, the hero meets the maiden, who tells him that on the morrow he must choose her from among her sisters. Then follow tasks (cleansing stable, thatching byre, stealing egg). Flight (apple cut in order to speak for the fugitives; throwing of twig, stone, and water), ra. Bride- for getting. — A greyhound kisses the hero, who is cast into sleep. Incident of the foantain. Shoemaker goes to well, finds the girl, and carries her home. Gentlemen who wish to marry the heroine, pay money for that purpose, and are enchanted. A

E 2

52 Folk-tale Section.

suppose the Gaelic story to have reached the Highlands as a translation of the English tale, at some time not earlier than the thirteenth century. It is to be presumed that the Celtic popu- lations of Great Britain obtained most of their stories belonging to the modern European stock of marchen through the English. It must be remarked that the character of the Gaelic narrative, especially of the preface, is peculiarly wild, and, if it stood alone, would be accounted especially Celtic. This circumstance, however, is by no means inconsistent with the view above taken ; it is only with regard to the language, and to the details, that a national quality can be claimed for iniirchen. This apparent nationality merely indicates that ideas borrowed from abroad have received a dress such as to suit the taste of the race which has adopted them. The rule often accepted as a canon of interpretation, in regard to medieval literature as well as modern folk-lore, that the rudest form of a story is probably the oldest, is entirely misleading and indefensible.

It is possible that an indication of the presence of our tale in Wales, in the thirteenth or fourteenth century, is to be found in the well-known Welsh story of " Kilhwch and Olwen" (MS. of about 1380). This story is one of a class in which the hero, by per-

wedding of the king's son, the girl takes a gold and silver pigeon, which perform a drama, representing herself and her lover. Awakening of the latter.

Compare a Russian tale, "Afanasief," v. 23, translated by W. R. S. Ralston Russian Folk-tales, London, 1873, p. 120. " Vasilissa the Wise." A king spares and nourishes an eaglet, and finally sets him free. The eagle takes the king on his back to the houses of his sisters, on three successive nights, gives him a ship to sail home, and two coffers. The king opens one, finds it full of cattle, repents, but cannot put them back. A man from the water consents to do so if the king will promise whatever he has at home that he does not know of. Comes home, finds that he has a son, and opens the coffers of treasure. The water-man, after a period, calls on the king, reminds him of his promise, and the son is sent forth. 11. Bird-maiden. — The prince comes to the hut of an ogress, who directs him to the sea-shore, charging him to steal the shift of one of twelve bird-maidens (spoonbills), to come to terms with her, and then go to the sea- king. This maid is Vasilissa the Wise. He returns her shift, and she rejoins her companions. 111. Bride-winning. — T^^Vf, (to build crystal bridge, plant a garden in a night, choose bride from twelve daughters. The girl gives him knowledge of a signal by which this is accomplished). Flight and pursui' ; transformation (forms assumed by the girl : a well, a church, a river of honey, in which the water-king drinks himself to death), iv. Bride-forgetting. — Prohibition to kiss, fountain-scene, doves — these baked in a pie (as in Basile, No. 17).

Newell.— z:«rfj/ Featherflight. 53

forming certain tasks, wins for his wife the daughter of a giant. It is not to be supposed that all tales of this class belong to the particular one now under consideration ; but, in the present instance, there are certain incidents which seem to suppose the knowledge, on the part of the recorder of the tale, of a folk-tale answering to our marcheti. I should be inclined to suppose that the writer, who does not appear to me to have composed at a time much earlier than the date of the MS., was acquainted with the story of the bird-maiden, then in circulation in Wales, in a form much the same as that which it now possesses, and that he employed this and other niiirchen for the composition of his work, which, in its present form, is not a popular tale, but a literary product.^

An example of the use of our folk-tale in literature is to be found in the drama of the German playwright, Jacob Ayrer (died in 1605), Comedia von der schonen Sidea. The plot is as follows :

Ludolf, prince of Littau, having been defeated and driven from his kingdom by Leudegast, prince of Wittau, in order to avenge himself becomes a magician, and entertains a familiar spirit, Runcifal. The son of his enemy, Engelbrecht, goes to hunt in the forest, and falls into the power of Ludolf, who has been informed by Runcifal of the approach of the youth. Ludolf, by means of his magic art, masters Engelbrecht, and makes a servant of him, committing him to the charge of his daughter Sidea, for whom the captive is to carry wood. Sidea, however, falls in love with the prince, and elopes with him.

In this account may be recognised the bride-winning section of our tale ; the giant has been altered into a magician, and the tasks modified into a mere servile obligation ; the flight has been reduced to a commonplace elopement. If, however, there were any doubt as to the connection of the tale and the drama, it would be removed by the succeeding part of the story, which

^ Guest, Mabinogion, iii, Z49. The hero is directed by a woman how to find Olwen, who is in the habit of washing at the house of the former. The chief tasks — of sowing in an unploughed field, and of collecting seeds — -correspond to those of our marcheii ; one lame ant brings in the last seed at night. So in a Bohemian tale of the cycle, A. H. Wratislaw, Sixty Folk-tales jrom exclusively Slavonic Sources, Tale 50, 1889. The Welsh writer exhibits some confusion, which shows the Bohemian account to be more primitive.

54 Folk-tale Section.

from the third act follows closely the last portion of the folk-tale, including the scene at the well.

The Tempest of Shakespeare is connected with Ayrer's drama, in what way is not clear. The Tempest is founded on the earlier part of the tale as given by Ayrer ; it corresponds, therefore, to the bride-winning section of the mdrchen. It is true that the resemblance is remote ; nevertheless it is sufficient to show that the ground-idea of The Tempest is ultimately derived from the folk-tale.

Closely related to the European miirchen, already mentioned, is a story contained in the collection of Somadeva of Kashmir (about 1080 A.D.). This story seems to be a hterary recension of the folk-tale ; it does not contain the final section of the European variants, that in which the hero is represented as forgetting his bride. It does not appear that the written narrative has had any influence on the European variants ; the close correspondence has arisen from a common oral tradition,'

1 The tale ot Somadeva includes the following incidents : i. A prince pierces with a golden arrow a Rakshasa or cannibal giant, who has taken the form of a crane. He is sent to seek the arrow, and follows the drops of blood to a city in the forest, n. Sitting down at the foot of a tree, in order to rest, a maid approaches, who tells him the name of the city, and who becomes amorous of him ; this maid is the giant's daughter. 01. The prince proceeds to the city, where the girl requests her father to marry her to the youth. The giant requires the stranger to choose out the maiden from among her hundred sisters ; this he is enabled to do by the aid of a signal which she has previously arranged. The first task imposed on him is to sow grain in an unploughed field, and afterwards to collect it again ; this is per- formed by the aid of ants, created by the girl. The next task is to invite to the wedding the giant's brother; the latter pursues the prince, but is repulsed by obstacles created by throwing out magical objects given him by the princess (earth, water, thorns, fire). The giant, concluding tliat the youth is a god, gives him his daughter in marriage : the latter advises flight. When tiie couple are pursued, she transforms herself into a woodcutter, who tells the silly giant that he is preparing to perform funeral ceremonies for the King of the Rakshasas. The latter goes home to find out whether he is dead or not ; the transformation is repeated, and the lovers escape. ( Kathd Sarit Sdgara, translation of C. H. Tawney, Calcutta, 1880,1,355.)

That the bird-maiden incident, suppressed in Somadeva, formed part of the folk-tale which he (or his source) used, is rendered probable, not only by its presence in the European variants of the story, but also by a modem folk-tale ot Kashmir, given by F. T. Knowles, Folk-tales of Kashmir, London, 1888, p. 211. A prince, who is practising archery, shoots a merchant's wife, and is banished by the king his father. Proceeding into the forest, he sees reflected in a lake an

Newell.— Lady Featherflight. 55

As the concluding part of our tale, relating to forgetfulness of the bride, is not found in Asiatic versions, it would seem likely that this last section was added in Europe; these variants, existing in all European countries, must have depended on the narration of a single story-teller, who constructed his tale by adding a new section to an Oriental story. The similarity of these versions would indicate that this narrator lived in a time comparatively recent ; the probability is that he belonged to Central Europe, and to one of the most civilised nations.

To the absence in Oriental versions of the last part of the European stories there is one very curious exception, namely, in a ballad of Samoa, which contains all the sections of the tale, in- cluding that of bride-forgetfulness. The conclusion seems to be that this ballad must have been inspired by a tale recently imported from Europe, yet the story is highly characteristic in form and scenery. If this be the explanation of the corre- spondence, the fact is highly instructive, as indicating the ease with which a primitive people may appropriate ideas from civilised visitors, and transform these into forms which would be taken to be of indigenous origin, unless the contrary could be ascertained otherwise than by internal evidence.^

image of a fairy, who informs him that she is a princess of the City of Ivory. He proceeds thither, and obtains the princess for his wife. The tale, though altered and modernised, seems to depend on the same mdrchen used by Somadeva. It is curious that the tale of the latter contains both forms of the flight, the casting out of magic objects, and the transformation. Some European versions have one, some the other.

The work of Somadeva, in general, is a translation from the Brat-kathd oi Gunadhya, composed about the time of our era. I cannot say whether the particular tale belonged to the latter collection. There is an independent translation, of the eleventh century, by Kshemendra. See S. Le'vi, Journal A siatique, 8th Ser., vi, 1885, 417 ; C. R. Lanman, Sanscrit ReaderyBoston, 1888, p. 322. For the date of Somadeva, G. Biihler, Vienna Acad. Sitzungsberichte, vol. ex, 1885, 545.

1 G. Turner, Samoa a Hundred Years Ago, London, 1884, story of Siati and his Wife, p. 102. The ballad, unfortunately, is only given in abbreviated form, i. A god promises his daughter in marriage to whoever will conquer him in singing ; Siati does so, and sets out for the land of the god, riding on a shark, in order to get the maiden. [This section seems to correspond to the gaming incident, which begins many of the European tales, and the shark perhaps answers to the eagle in the story of Old Grey Norris, above.] n. Puapae, that is, White Fish, has been bathing with her companions ; she returns to seek a comb which she has forgotten, and meets Siati. [This seems to be a modification of the dress-stealing

56 Folk-tale Sectiun.

A propos of this Samoan story, it may be remarked that, when the same folk-tale is found to exist among civihsed and un- civilised races, the derivation must in most cases be presumed to be from the former to the latter. Why this should be the case is obvious : in a form of a legend current in a primitive tribe there is always something barbarous, which repels educated taste, and makes borrowing difficult ; while, on the contrary, it is easy for the ruder people to adapt the clearer and simpler narrative of their intellectual superiors. Add to this, that the cultivated people are at the centre of communication, while the barbarous races are at the extremities of the spokes ; it would obviously be difficult for

trait.] She directs him to her father's house, with certain warnings, m, Siati goes to the dwelling of the god, observing the instructions given him. A task is imposed on him, to build a house in one day. This is done by the arts of the girl. Second task, to fight with a dog ; third, to seek a ring, which is fished out of the sea by the maiden, after she has been cut to pieces. Then follow the flight, as usual (throwing out of comb, earth,v water), iv. Puapae gives Siati leave to visit his family and friends ; he does so, and forgets his wife. When he is to marry again she comes and stands on the other side j and when the chief asks the youth which is his bride, and he indicates the other, she cries that he has forgotten all she had done for him, and departs. Siati recollects, darts after her, and expires.

The incident of the ring is exactly paralleled in many European tales of the cycle. (See Cosquin's notes.) Thus, in the Basque variant before cited, the hero is required to recover a ring from the river ; the heroine causes him to cut her in pieces, and throw these into the water ; her little finger is lost in the process, on which she recommends flight. Originally, it seems to have been by the loss of this finger that the hero is enabled to recognise his disguised love, such recognition being the final task imposed. The other form of the task is that in which the youth is required to procure an egg from a nest in a high tree, and is allowed to use the fingers of his love as steps, losing one in the same way. It does not appear which is the oldest form of the task ; but the Samoan form seems obviously abridged and confused.

When the girl warns her lover to eat nothing which her father offers him, and not to sit on a high seat, the reason is the humility proper to mortals dealing with a god. In the French tale (E. Cosquin), the hero is to refuse the dish ofTered, and select a different chair from that proposed. The original idea is probably that indicated in Apuleius, where Psyche is cautioned, while in the presence of Proserpina, not to choose a soft seat, but to sit on the ground, and to eat only a piece of common bread ; the motive appearing to be, to avoid identifying himself with the retinue of the mistress of Hades. In the Malagasy tale, mentioned below, Ibonia is warned not to advance as required by his fatlier-in-law, and not to eat from the plate of the latter. The reason appears to be the inability of mortals to endure the brightness of a god, and share the food of the latter.

Newell. — Lady Featherflight. 57

the latter to lend to each other. These a priori probabilities are confirmed by an examination of details ; corresponding versions, as in the present story, cannot possibly be explained as a borrowing of savage races from each other, while they are easily interpreted as adaptations of relations received through the civilised peoples. I believe that it will be found, in general, that the diffusion of folk- tales answers to that of literature, and that the nation which in any age acts as a centre of literary illumination will also be the centre of diffusion of folk-lore. The same fashion which causes acceptance of the former makes the latter also received. It goes without saying that there will be exceptions in individual cases.

All the variants hitherto considered agree in this point, that the hero, immediately after his encounter with the maid in bird- dress, proceeding on his way, comes to the house of her father, and is set to perform the task required. But there is another class of versions, to which belong most of the Oriental narratives, in which the history proceeds differently. These are literary recensions of a folk-tale, in which the youth, retaining the feather- garment of the fairy, makes her his wife, and carries her home. They live together, until, during his absence, she secures posses- sion of her robe and escapes, leaving directions for him to follow. So ends the first part of the history. In the second section of the tale he is represented as engaging in a quest, asking of all animals the whereabouts of his beloved ; at last he reaches the heavenly world in which she abides, is coldly received by her relatives, and the tasks and escape follow as related. The character of the tale indicates it as the older form of the narration, from which all the variants of the first class have been derived. The story may then be called "The Bird-Wife": i. Her acquisition and loss ; 11. Quest and recovery.

This older form of the story, in literature of an origin ulti- mately Hindu, is represented by the following versions : i. A narrative of Buddhist character, contained in the great Thibetian collection of the Kandjur, of uncertain date. 11. A Burmese drama, depending ultimately on the same source, as shown by identity of proper names as well as of theme, in. Two long tales, included in the Thousand and One Nights, iv. Certain modern Hindu folk-tales, all exhibiting alteration and recon- struction. From these, and from versions in other Oriental coun-

58 Folk-tale Section.

tries, it appears clear that there must have existed, probably before our era, a Hindu folk-tale of great length, in which the several sections of the tale were fully and clearly narrated. I will add, that this early Hindu tale appears to me to be indicated as the source from which all the variants of the 77tdrchen, of both types, in Asia and in Europe, have descended.^

^ 1. Memoires de V Acad. Impir. des Sciences de St. PMersbourg, 7 Ser., xix, No. 6, 1873, A. Schiefner, Awarisrhe Texte, xxvi-xlv. A hunter, by advice of a hermit, in a lake in the forest captures Manohara, a princess whose power of flight resides in her head-jewel. She is bestowed in marriage on the prince. Com- pelled to go to the wars, he leaves her in charge of his mother ; being in danger of being sacrificed, she obtains the jewel, and takes flight. On her way she visits the hermit, and leaves her ring, with directions for her lover. The latter returning, sets out in quest, asks all animals, and finally comes to the hermit, of whom he gets the ring, with advice and magic apparatus. After a long and dangerous journey through the wilderness, he comes to Manohara's city, and places the ring in the water in which she washes. At her intercession he is received by the father, being required to prove his princely qualities by tests (cutting down trees with his sword, shooting an arrow), and is allowed to return,

2. The Burmese drama is only imperfectly translated in the Jour, oj the Asiatic Soc. of Bengal, viii, 1839, 536. The name here is Manahurr}'. After performing the task of taming wild horses, etc., the prince is compelled to distinguish the little finger of the maid from those ol the other princesses. [This seems connected with the trait in European tales, in which the princess loses her little finger in the last task.] The king of the flies assists him. The drama is interesting, and deserves to be more fully given.

3. The story of Janshah, Lady Burton's ed. of Arabian Nights, iii, 1886, 401. A prince, hiding under a tree near a fountain, gets possession of the feather-robe of one of three bird-maidens \oi green colour ; the hue of the dress and number ol the fairies are the same in the French tale of E. Cosquin]. He takes her home, but she smells out her garment, and flies away, leaving him to seek her at the Castle of Jewels. The prince now proceeds on his quest, and inquires of the birds and beasts, and is carried on bird-back to the hermit, bef'^'^e whom appear all animals. One belated bird only knows of the Castle of Jewels, and carries the hero to a place from which he sees its distant glory. The end of the tale is abbreviated. [The incident of the delayed bird has found its way into several European versions of the tale.] The other tale is the story of Hasan of El Basrah, E. W. Lane, Arabian Nights Entertainments, London, 1865, iii, 352. This version contains a modified reminiscence of the flight. The hero accomplishes his undertaking by aid of a magic wand and a cap of invisibility, which he gets from two youths who quarrel. [This trait is found in several European tales of the family.]

4. Modern Hindu tales : (d), Indian Antiquary, 1875, 10. The daughters 01 the Sun, who live in heaven, descend to bathe. Toria gets the shirt of one ; among the tasks is to dig a tank (see Malagasy tale). She visits her father's house, and

Newelu— Lady Featherflight. 59

In attempting to trace a folk-tale, little attention should be paid to analogies. It is necessary that the several incidents should occur in their order, or at least in a form which indicates an original having the proper arrangement of sections and traits. In such cases, it is obvious that the theory of separate origination can have no application. The discussion is not concerning tale- ^^ments, which may be common to many countries, but concerning a complicated narration, as unlikely to have been independently invented as a modern novel and its foreign translations.

Applying this test, we find our tale, as a whole, among others in Celebes and in Madagascar, in such a form that ultimate derivation from the Hindu story already examined can scarcely be questioned.^

warns him not to follow. The end is obscured. Mention is made of the habits of Rakshasa to travel through the air. This explains why in European versions the appearance of the pursuer is so often compared to that of a cloud, (b") Stokes, Indian Fairy-tales, p. 6. [I have not seen this tale.] The story of Janshah has found its way to Zanzibar, where it is orally current (E. Steere, Swahili Tales, London, 1870, p. 333), and also to South Siberia; see notes of Cosquin.

1 The Celebes tale in Z. f. d. Morgenlandische Gesellschaft, vi, 1852. Utahagi, with other nymphs, descends from heaven in order to bathe in a fountain. The hero obtains her robe, and carries her home ; in consequence of his disobedience, she departs. He sets out in quest, reaches heaven by climbing a thorn-tree, and, by the assistance of animals, finds the house. Her brother, a demi-god, obliges him to make choice among nine caskets, one of which is indicated by a i^y [the caskets are a substitute for the sisters in the Hindu tale, where the fly plays a like part]. Eventually he becomes a god, but sends down from heaven his son, from whom the Bantiks descend.

For the Malagasy story of Ibonia see Folk-lore Journal, i, 1883, 202. The hero, being directed by a diviner to capture a maid in a lake, succeeds, after repeated failure, by transforming himself into an ant, and carries the girl home. During his absence, his wife is left in charge of his parents, who contrive her death by inducing her to drink rum, which is fatal to her as a spirit, and which she has stipulated shall not be offered her. On his return, she is disinterred, and comes to life, but returns to heaven, warning him against the danger of following her. He makes friends with birds and beasts, and with his other wife : goes to the sky, where he is severely received by his father-in-law. Follow the tasks (cutting down trees, bringing spades from lake), which he performs by aid of the animals. Then the selection, accomplished by the aid of the king of the flies. [But this trial is confused ; he is required to tell the mother from the daughters, and also which are the mothers among many cattle ] The tale ends happily, the flight being eliminated. Other and longer versions are given by H. Dahle, Specimens of Malagasy Folk-lore, Antananarivo, 1 887, unluckily without translation. Dahle observes that the tale of Ibonia has a suspiciously Oriental colour, and that the proper name has no etymology in the Malagasy (p. 3).

6o Folk-tale Section.

There may be some doubt as to whether a New Zealand myth of a kindred character is to be considered as an off-shoot from the folk-tale of the Bird-wife ; but that it is so seems to be indicated by its resemblance to the tale of Celebes, already mentioned.!

There are several tales from the New World, which, though much modified, seem probably of the same origin ; yet this con- clusion cannot be regarded as certain, nor is it clear whether the tales are to be supposed to have reached American aborigines from Europe or Asia.^

The first section of our tale, that which recites how a bird- maiden is captured, and ultimately recovers her feather-robe and returns to her own heavenly country, is widely diffused as a separate narration. It is not to be assumed that all these stories are derived from our longer tale by the suppression of the second portion ; on the contrary, many of them seem to be independent, and to give only one of the elements out of which the later mdrchen has been formed. In some cases, however, it would

^ G. Grey, Polynesian Mythology, London, 185J, pp. 59-80. Tawhaki (a mythological character whose prayers cause a deluge) is visited by a maid from heaven, who becomes offended with him, and departs. He searches for her, comes to the house of a blind ancestress, and gets directions as to his route ; he climbs by the tendrils of a vine, and reaches the dwelling of his wife.

2 (a) A>fe;w, H. Rink, Tales of the EsAi'mo, trans. R. Brown, Edinb., 1885, p. 1 54. A man seizes the robes of a bird-maiden, and takes her home ; children are born, on whom she places wings, and they fly away, the mother at last doing the same during the absence of her husband. The man returns, and is sad ; he obtains directions from an old man, and, sitting on the tail of a salmon, is carried to a shore inhabited only by women. A woman with a pug-nose presses him to marry her ; the man endeavours to recover his wife, but the women are transformed into gulls, he into a duck, [This introduction of the ugly rival of the heroine seems very much like a reminiscence of a form of the European tale.] (b) Algonkin Schoolcraft, Algic Researches, N. Y., 1839. "The Celestial Sisters," i, 67, a Shawnee tale. Maidens from sky descend to the earth in a basket ; the hero, taking various forms (compare Malagasy tale), succeeds in seizing one. A son is born, who makes a basket, and goes to heaven, together with the wife. The hero, proceeding in quest of the latter, comes to heaven, and is allowed his choice of gifts. He selects a white hawk's feather, which takes him and his wife to earth. Another tale, " Nishosha," ii, 91, opens curiously like that of Somadeva. The hero, going to seek an arrow, comes to the house of a magician. The daughter of the latter takes pity on him. He is sent to gather gulls' eggs, and deserted on a desert island, but finally induces the heroine to become his wife.

Newell.— /:«^ Featherflight. 6i

seem likely that such a suppression of the latter part of the story has taken place.'

Returning to European versions, it is to be remarked that the older form of the folk-tale, that in which the heroine is carried home and afterwards returns to her native heaven, is also repre- sented in Europe ; while some versions exhibiting the modified form of the morchen — to which, for example, "Lady Featherflight" belongs — appear also to have incorporated incidents properly belonging to the more ancient type. Such intermixture, in which a later variant takes up some features of an earlier form of the story, might be expected as a natural consequence of the com- plications arising from continual diffusion and alteration.^

If all the versions belonging to our folk-tale in its different types, and all the confused and modernised forms founded upon it were enumerated, the number of variants would run up to many hundreds, and would be found to form no inconsiderable part of the whole volume of modern mdrchen in Europe.^

It remains to be inquired whether anything can be affirmed respecting the date and method of composition of the Hindu tale, which appears to have obtained so wide a circulation.

An early example of a story of bride-winning, having many analogies to that now considered, is supplied by the tale of Medea and Jason. The hero journeys to a far country, probably origin- ally conceived as a giant-land beyond the limits of the world of

^ For example, in the Persian tale contained in the Bakar-Danush, and in Chinese and .Samoyede tales, mentioned by Cosquin, our mdrchen seems to be at the basis, an elision of a section having taken place ; on the other hand, in the Nibelungenlied and the Edda, where swan-maidens are mentioned, it is perhaps only a tale-element which is in question.

2 AEuropean variant is the Polish tale given byToppen,/4<^fr^/aM^i??z aus Masuren p. 140. The heroine departs, giving the hero directions as to the land in which he is to seek her, in which it is always summer. Other examples could be quoted. In many cases, where the tale is of the usual European type, the inci- dents of the quest, of the inquiry of birds and beasts, and riding to a remote land on the back of a bird, are introduced ; these seem to properly belong to the older story, in which the heroine departs and has to be sought, and to have been engrafted on the later tales; so in the early portion of the Gaelic and Russian tales above mentioned.

s In the work of Wratislaw cited, seven tales out of the sixty ultimately belong to our marchen ; in the Folk-tales of the Magyars (Jones and Kropf I.ond., 1889) I reckon the same number, making about one-sixth of the material.

62 Folk-tale Section.

men ; the daughter of his host falls in love with him, and assists him in the accomplishment of tasks closely resembling those of our folk-tale. The adventure ends in a flight, in which the heroine uses a device to delay her pursuing father. The relationship with the first part of the tale of the Bird-wife is unquestionable, and cannot be accidental ; but the first section is wanting ; Medea does not appear to have been a bird-maiden, nor do we learn that Jason had made her acquaintance before his journey. If the complete story, containing both sections, had existed in Greece, it is very unlikely that there should be no indication of it. A\'e cannot, therefore, regard this tale as a variant of the story of the Bird-wife ; on the contrary, we must consider it as an earlier tale, and as containing evidence of the existence, in Greece, at a time before authentic history, of elements which, at a later date and in another land, entered into the composition of our folk-tale.

On the other hand, the first part of the history is contained in the Hindu legend of Puriiruvas and Urvagi, referred to in a well- known hymn of the Rig Veda. This hymn describes the inter- view of the hero with the nymph, by whom he has been deserted, at a lake where she and her companions are bathing in bird-form. The fairy remains obdurate to all entreaties of the mortal ; but she consoles him with the promise of a son, who shall one day seek out his human parent. It would appear, from the text of the hymn, that Urva9i had originally been won by being seized, as a swan-maiden who had laid aside her robe of flight, presum- ably in the same lake at which the scene is laid. The poem accordingly depends upon a folk-tale, answering to the first section of our mcirchen, but suggesting the non-existence at the time of composition of the second section, that in which the nymph is sought for and recovered from her own heavenly abode. The marchen must therefore be later than the hymn.^

Somewhat different from the preceding is the tale of Amor and Psyche, as given by Apuleius. This narrative is a literary recen- sion, altered and confused to such a degree that it is now impossible

1 See the translation of this hymn by K. F. Geldner, in Pischel and Geldner's Vedische Studien, Stuttgart, 1889, p. 253 f. Geldner gives also the later prose tales. These approach the form of our marchen.^ representing the hero as making a journey to the land of the Gandharvas ; he is also related to have recovered Urva^i.

Newell. — Lady Featherflight. 63

to determine the exact nature of the folk-tale on which it de- pended. It is nevertheless clear that this marcheft used by Apuleius contained two sections, the first part reciting the manner in which a mortal maiden obtains and loses a divine husband ; the second part relating her quest, her arrival at his heavenly home, severe reception at the hands of his relatives, and per- formance of the tasks imposed. The .end is obviously altered : Mercury, appearing as deus ex machina, conveys the heroine to heaven. Perhaps, in the original tale, the history closed with a flight. It would appear that the tale, therefore, belongs to the same type as that of the mdrchen we are examining ; the chief difference is in the sex of the actors. As the classic tale has neither internal consistency, nor root in Greek mythology, it may probably have been borrowed from the Orient, its source being a tale of the same class as that of the Bird-wife. At all events, by its contrast to the earlier heroic literature, the tale of Psyche strengthens the argument for the later date of such marchen, while, on the other hand, it carries back the currency of this class of stories to a reasonably early period. It seems pretty safe, therefore, to conclude that the Hindu tale of the Bird-wife, while perhaps older than our era, was by no means of primitive antiquity.

It is only in Hindu mythology that the idea at the basis of our tale is represented in a clear and simple form. This mythology presents us with a race of female beings of divine nature, who appear on earth as water-birds, and have at the same time their proper dwelling in heaven. These beings (Apsaras) are connected with the principle of water ; as such, they have the power to bestow fertility, and are the objects of worship. In accordance with their nature they are amorous, and disposed to union with mortals, regulated solely by inclination ; but, as themselves immortal, they are averse to such continued union as may affect their celestial rights. Their power of flight lies in their bird-form, the loss of which compels them to remain among mankind, a resi- dence which they accept with reluctance, and a desire to escape at the first opportunity from the dearest ties.

In connection with this mythology our tale seems clear and simple ; in other parts of the world it appears as a narrative subject to obscurity, and not in close connection with national

64 Folk- tale Section.

ideas. The kind reception given to the tale, and its wide diffu- sion through the whole world, seem to have been due solely to its power to agreeably impress the fancy of the listener.

In this discussion no attention has been paid to explanation of the elements out of which the tale was composed, such as the tasks and flight. These incidents occur also in other tales ; they are not derived from the present story, but existed before the latter was constructed and entered into its composition. Of these elements some are perhaps derived from primitive belief, others from primitive custom ; but whether they are expUcable by one or the other has no relation to the diffusion of the tale, for reciters and hearers of the latter received these incidents as parts of a complicated whole, having no direct relation to tribal ideas and customs, though naturally and inevitably so altered as to present certain features characteristic of each community in which the story was told.

The origin and history of a folk-tale common to many countries, such as the one which has been the subject of discussion, may be figuratively represented by the illustration of a species of vegetable which has originated in an early civilisation at a time so remote that from the first moment of its discernible history it possesses a cultivated character. This vegetable, again, under the influence of civilisation, is differentiated into new varieties, arising in different localities, each one of which, on account of advantages which it appears to offer, may in its turn be introduced into distant regions, and even supersede the original out of which it was developed, this dissemination following the routes of com- merce, and ordinarily proceeding from the more highly organised countries to those inferior in the scale of culture.

\Owing to the necessity of the case, the author of this article has not been able to revise the proof, and tlierefore requests indulgence for any errors which may in consequence appear in the text.^

Newell.— Z«</j/ Featherflight. 65


Mr. Andrew Lang : Ladies and Gentlemen,— I have, unfortu- nately, not been able to be present at the beginning of your Chairman's paper, but as far as I ha^'e heard it I agree with every word of it. I regard the whole question of the origin of folk-tales as mysterious, and one which will, perhaps, never be solved at all. As far as I understood Mr. Newell's ideas, I do not think I can sufficiently express how much I disagree with them all round. Mr. Newell seems to think that it was the cultivated people who shaped the stories and spread them, and the uncultivated who picked them up ; but, as I have frequently said before, I hold an exactly opposite opinion. The large number of inci- dents making up the story or stories are like the pieces of glass in a kaleidoscope. You may shake them as much as you please, constantly producing fresh combinations, but the pieces making them up always remain the same. In a similar way the incidents in fairy tales were constantly shaken, producing almost any form, and, bearingthis in mind, the essence of this tale of the young man who wins his bride by doing feats is not far to seek. There were two ways of winning a bride : one was to buy her at the price of so many oxen, and the other was doing very remarkable and extraordinary things — in fact, doing such feats as are told of heroes in early tales. In this connection it is difficult to explain why these heroes are always enabled to perform their feats through a trick of the woman, and it is also remarkable that in these various stories there is such an extraordinary resemblance of incidents which might easily be separated and yet come together.

One of the things we are trying to examine is the diffusion of tales, and there is the mystery. India is supposed to be the centre of some of these tales, and yet we find them in other garments in Egypt long before India. We find them with the Eskimos and Zulus, where we can hardly suppose that any civilising influence has been the medium of their existence. I cannot think that they have been scattered by Spanish missionaries ; nor can I offer any other explanation. Mr. Hartland's suggestion that exactly the same plot, in exactly the same shape, and with exactly the same incidents, can have been invented by several difl^erent persons independently of each other, seems to me inconceivable, and I, therefore, think it impossible for one to come to any conclusion except to assume that the stories are extremely old and have been carried to different countries.

As to Mr. Hartland's interesting details of unconscious plagiarism, I have myself come across some startling cases of this description. One was a case where the same story was published in Europe and America, but the explanation probably was that both authors had heard


66 Folk-tale Section.

the same tale and published it independently. Again, there has been a story lately published of a ghost, whom somebody endeavoured to en- velope in plaster-of-Paris to take a mould of him. That, you would think, would not occur to two people. And it did not. The American author had heard it mentioned as an anecdote without knowing that it had been published. But there are other cases which really illustrate the possibility of unintentional plagiarism. A subterranean cave with two rows of kings turned into stones seems an abnormal imagination, but the man who had it received an indignant letter from another author who had the same idea. I myself once was a victim of a similar occurrence : I dreamt of a tale, but somebody else had written the story and stolen my idea before I invented it.

I agree with Mr. Hartland that the invention of the same coinci- dences by two different people is possible, but the difficulty is to account for their being woven into the same plot, although it should be mentioned that the same incidents also occur in dissimilar plots. Reverting to Mr. Newell's opinion that the stories spread from the civilised to the uncivilised, I may here repeat, what I have often pointed out, that most of the popular children's tales are excessively ferocious. Thus, instead of making children dance in iron shoes, I would rather let them stand in the comer. Civilisation would never invent such a savage punishment, and can only retain it as a survival. I am anxious to be converted, but would rather wait till the end of the Congress to see whether I can change my mind, but it is not very likely.




Presentees au Folk-lore Congress d'Octobre, 1891, Par EMMANUEL COSQUIN.

En me faisant I'honneur de me demander un travail sur las Incidents communs aux contes europdens at aux contes orientaux, le Comite d'organisation du Folk-lore Congress m'a laisse libre de traiter le sujat a ma guise. J'userai de cette permission.

D'abord, je ne m'arreterai pas a montrer quelle masse d'inci- dents les contes orientaux ont en commun avac las contes europeens. Le fait est bian connu, at pour s'en convaincre il suffit de jeter un coup-d'oeil, par example, sur les rapprochements si nombreux contanus dans les ramarques que j'ai jointes k mes Contes populaires de Lorraine}

Mais je me permattrai de faire observer qua ce n'est pas seule- ment d'incidents qu'il faut parlar ici ; c'ast bien da combinaisons tout entiferas d'incidents, c'ast-a-dire de r^cits dans tout leur d^veloppement.

  • #

II me semble, du reste — caci est une reflexion gdndrale — que certains folk-loristes ne regardent trop souvent que d'un ceil distrait les ensembles dans les contes populaires. Las incidents, moins que cela, les idees qui entrant dans le tissu de ces incidents, voila ce a quoi mon honorable contradicteur M. Andrew Lang et ses disciples s'attachent surtout at prasque exclusivement. Et, parce que certaines de ces id6es — betas qui parlent, objets magiques, etc. — se rencontrant parmi les croyances superstitieuses des sauvages de differants pays, les folk-loristes de cette ecole an tirent cette conclusion, qui, tout rdcemment encore, ^tait formulae par M. Lang

1 Paris, i!!86, librairie Vieweg, 67, rue Richelieu.

F 2

68 Folk-tale Section.

lui-meme : II n'y a rien d'improbable, tout au contraire, ^ ce que " des esprits se trouvant dans un meme dtat de croyance supersti- tieuse puissent, independamment les uns des autres, ddvelopper des recits analogues."^

En d'autres termes : nous constatons chez une foule de peuples, en Orient comme en Occident, I'existence de contes populaires pr^sentant partout les plus dtonnantes ressemblances (car tels sont les contes auxquels M. Lang fait allusion) ; or, il est possible que ces contes n'aient entre eux aucun lien d'origine ; ils ont pu parfaitement germer et pousser spontanement dans les divers pays, au temps ou les " idees sauvages y r^gnaient.

Eh bien ! ma conviction, de plus en plus afifermie, est que cela est impossible, que cette thfese est insoutenable, et que, si I'on rencontre en Orient et en Occident des contes semblables, c'est qu'ils ont une origine commune, c'est qu'ils se sont propag^s de pays en pays.

Je voudrais, par un exemple, faire toucher la chose du doigt.

Prenons, dans les contes populaires, un thfeme trfes simple et trfes r^pandu, le thfeme de la jeune fille livrde a un dragon et sauvde par le hdros, qui tue le monstre.

Cette idde a-t-elle pu eclore dans plusieurs pays, dans plusieurs cerveaux "sauvages", sans qu'il y ait eu communica- tion de I'un a I'autre ? Admettons-le, si Ton veut, bien que livrer k jour fixe une victime humaine a un monstre, par suite d'un accord avec ledit monstre et pour prdvenir un plus grand mal, ne soit pas ce qu'il y a de plus naturel. Mais examinons de quelle manifere cette id^e, " sauvage" ou non, se pr^sente dans les contes qui ont €i€ recueillis jusqu'ici.^

Dans un conte grec moderne de I'lle de Syra (Hahn, No. 70), le h^ros apprend un jour d'une bonne vieille, son hotesse, que, dans le pays oil il se trouve, on livre, tous les huit jours, une victime humaine k un serpent &, douze tetes, pour que le monstre laisse

  • "... It has been made probable that minds in the same state of supersti-

tious belief may independently develop analogous narratives. (Saturday Review, 10 Jan. 1891.)

2 La plus grande partie des elements de cette discussion se trouve dans les remarques du No. 5 de mes Contes populaires de Lorraine. Pour les indications bibliographiques, voir \ Index biHiographique place i la fin de des mes deux Tolvitnes,

CoSQUIN. — Incidents comniuns aux Contes, etc. 69

puiser de I'eau a I'unique fontaine de la ville ; le sort vient de tomber sur la fille du roi. Le h^ros se rend a la fontaine, prfes de laquelle la princesse est attach^e a un rocher. II la ddlie et lui dit qu'il la prot^gera ; il ajoute qu'il est fatigu^ et qu'en attendant la venue du serpent il la prie (il faut bien appeler les choses par leur nom) de lui chercher un peu les poux. Pendant qu'elle le fait, il s'endort, et la princesse lui attache une bague dans les cheveux. Mais, quand le serpent arrive, elle est si dpouvantee que la voix lui manque et qu'elle ne pent que pleurer : une de ses larmes tombe sur la joue du h^ros et le reveille. " Ho ! ho ! " crie le serpent en voyant lejeunehomme et la princesse, "jusqu'ici on ne me donnait qu'un morceau a manger ; aujourd'hui j'en ai deux."

La premiere pensee qu'on aura en lisant ce passage, c'est que les details de la narration, les enjolivements, sont I'ceuvre des conteurs grecs. Voyons s'il en est ainsi.

En 1888, M. Maxence de Rochemonteix a public, parmi les Contes nubiens qu'il a donnes aux Memoires de I'Institut egyptien, un conte ou je relive l'6pisode suivant : Le hdros, Himmed, arrive dans un certain pays et se loge chez une vieille femme. Un jour, dit le conte, elle lui apporta de I'eau saumatre. " Pourquoi, grand'mbre, cette eau est-elle saumatre ?" Et la vieille lui raconta qu'un crocodile arretait le fieuve. " Chaque jour, il lui faut une vierge, et c'est aujourd'hui le tour de la fille du roi." "C'est bien," dit Himmed, et, se levant, ilallatrouverlajeune fille. " Ma petite soeur," lui dit il, " que fais-tu ici toute seule ?" " On m'a amende ici pour etre livr^e au crocodile. Va-t-en." " C'est bien, dit Himmed; "laisse-moi dormir, la tete sur tes genoux, et tire-moi un pou. Quand le crocodile viendra, reveille-moi." Et il s'etendit par terre, la tete sur les genoux de la jeune fille. A la vue du crocodile, celle-ci se mit a pleurer : une larme tomba dans I'oreille de Himmed et le rdveilla. " Pourquoi pleures-tu ?" dit-il. " Void le crocodile ; sauve-toi !" En meme temps le crocodile leur criait de loin : " Pourquoi done etes vous deux ?"

Voila tout-a-fait, sur les rives du Haut-Nil, notre rdcit grec moderne, et non pas seulement le sens general de cet incident ; les plus petits, les plus dtranges details s'y retrouvent : monstre qui prive d'eau une ville, bizarres iddes du heros, larme qui le reveille, exclamation du monstre.

70 Folk-tale Section.

En Armenie/ encore meme narration, si ce n'est que le trait ■ r^aliste de la toilette a faire au h^ros a disparu, peut-etre par un excfes de ddlicatesse de la part du coUectionneur. Mais ce trait se rencontre ailleurs, dans des Episodes semblables, par exemple dans un conte valaque (Schott, No. lo), ou se trouve aussi la "larme brulante"; dans un conte suedois (Cavallius, p. no). Et si ce dernier n'a pas la larme qui rdveille le h^ros, il nous offre un trait du conte grec moderne que nous n'avions pas encore rencon- tre jusqu'ici, celui de la bague attachdedans les cheveux du jeune homme. (Comparer le conte dcossais No. 4 de la collection Campbell.)

Ici arretons-nous un instant et posons-nous cette question :

Etant admis que I'idde de victimes humaines livrees p^riodi- quement a un monstre pour prevenir un plus grand mal, et de la delivrance d'une de ces victimes, soit une de ces "iddes sauvages" qui, nous dit-on, peuvent Colore partout oil existe I'etat d'esprit "sauvage" — cela ^tant admis, est-il possible que les Grecs modernes, les Nubiens, les Arm^niens, les Valaques, aient d^veloppd absolument de la meme fagon cette "idee sauvage" trouvee (c'est I'hypothfese) par chacum de ces peuples dans son heritage traditionnel ? est-il possible que, par exemple, ils aient imaging tous que le h^ros se serait endormi avant le combat, la tete sur les genoux de la fille du roi ; qu'une larme de celle-ci, tomb6e sur le visage du jeune homme, I'aurait reveille, etc. ?

Non, ^videmment, cela n'est pas possible.

Done la forme tellement speciale sous laquelle r"idee sauvage"

— si " idde sauvage" il y a — se presente a nous aujourd'hui chez

ces divers peuples, ne pent se rencontrer a la fois chez tous que

par suite de communications de I'un a I'autre et d'importation de

I'idde ddja specialisee.

  • *

Mais nous sommes encore loin d'avoir tout consid^re dans les rdcits qui viennent d'etre analyses.

Ces rdcits, ils ont ^te recueillis, non point Isolds et formant tout le conte a eux seuls, mais encadrds dans un conte plus dtendu.

' Chalatianz, .lAr/c fii und Sagen dans \'Ai iiifiiiiche Bibliothek d'Abgar Joannissiany (Leipzig, 1887), p. 29 seq.

COSQUIN. — Incidents communs aux Contes, etc. 71

Ainsi, les rdcits grec moderne, nubien, armenien, sont intercalds (le valaque est simplement juxtapose) dans des contes qui ap- partiennent tous a un type que j'ai etudie longuement dans mes Contes populaires de Lorraine, le type de "Jean de I'Ours" (No. i).

Cette intercalation, cette combinaison tout arbitraires — qui speaalisent encore davantage notre incident, deja si caracterise, de la princesse et du dragon — il est Evident qu'elles ne se sont pas faites spontan^ment, et chez les Grecs modernes et chez les Nubiens, et chez les Armeniens et chez les Valaques. Une telle combinaison, comment en aurait-on eu I'id^e dans plusieurs pays a la fois ?

Je ferai la meme remarque au sujet des nombreux r^cits oil \incident de la princesse livr^e au monstre n'a pas les details que nous avons vus. Si simple qu'en soit la forme, cet incident se trouve specialise par la manifere dont il est enchass6, par les com- binaisons dans lesquelles il entre.

Ainsi, dans un conte allemand (Grimm, No. 60), dans un conte indien du pays de Cachemire (Steel et Temple, p. 138), et aussi dans un conte persan du Touti Nameh (t. ii, p. 291, de la traduction allemande de G. Rosen), il est combing avec le thfeme de I'oiseau merveilleux qui fait roi ou richissime celui qui le mange.

Ainsi encore, dans un groupe trfes nombreux de contes, re- cueillis en Lorraine, en Bretagne, en Italic, en Sicile, en Espagne, en Portugal, en Grfece, en Lithuanie, en Danemark, en Sufede, etc., notre incident est enclavd entre deux thfemes : le thfeme du poisson merveilleux qui, coupe en morceaux, est mang6 par une femme, une jument et une chienne, et renalt sous forme de deux ou trois gargons, deux ou trois poulains, deux ou trois petits chiens, et le th^me de la maison enchantee, ou une sorcifere tue ou change en pierre successivement les frferes aines, jusqu'a ce que le plus jeune triomphe d'elle.

Ailleurs (voir les remarques du No. 37 de mes Contes populaires de Lorraine) le thfeme du dragon est combing avecle thfeme des Trois chiens, lequel pent se r^sumer ainsi : Un jeune homme, sur la proposition d'un inconnu, ^change trois brebis, toute sa for- tune, contre trois chiens, dont chacun est doue de qualit6s mer- veilleuses. Grace a leur aide, il s'empare d'une maison habitee

72 Folk-tale Section.

par des brigands, que ses chiens tuent, et s'y etablit avec sa sceur. Celle-ci I'ayant trahi et livrd a un des brigands, echappe au car- nage et qu'elle veut dpouser, les trois chiens le sauvent. Ce sont eux encore qui tuent un dragon auquel est exposee une princesse. On serait infini si Ton voulait decomposer toute cette marque- terie en ses divers elements. A propos de la moindre pifece qui y entre, meme exceptionnellement, il y aurait a faire des rapproche- ments, et des rapprochements precis, avec d'autres contes ; car la moindre pifece provient de la grande fabrique qui a fourni de memes produits le monde entier, pour ainsi dire.

II y a done eu, chez les nombreux peuples dont les contes pre- sentent le thfeme du dragon, importation de ce theme, frappe a de certaines estampilles. Done, quand meme, dans le fonds d"'idees sauvages", n^es sur place, qu'on suppose le patrimoine de ces divers peuples, il se trouverait chez tous I'idde d'un dragon et d'une jeune fille d^livree, ce ne serait pas cette id^e indigene qui ferait partie des contes actuels : le thfeme qui y figure — I'estampille en fait foi — est importd.

Notons que le travail qui vient d'etre fait sur le thfeme du dragon, nous aurions pu le faire sur n' importe quel autre thfeme, pris dans quelqu'un de ces contes, partout si semblables, du grand reper- toire international.

Et maintenant, qu'on aille raisonner et faire de la statistique sur les "id^es sauvages" que I'on pretend tirer des contes ! "Le thfeme du dragon se trouve ici, la, encore la ; done elle est eclose

partout jadis, cette idde sauvage " Le malheur, c'est que,

loin d etre eclos ici, la et encore la, ce thbme a iih apportd, dans tous ces endroits, comme partie int^grante de ces produits fabriqu^s qui s'appellent des contes.

A ce propos je suis heureux de renvoyer a d'excellentes re- flexions de notre confrere M. Joseph Jacobs (Folk-Lore, livraison de mars 1891, p. 125). Pour avoir le droit d'invoquer les contes comme "t^moignage archeologique" des croyances du pays ou ils ont €x€ recueillis, il faut d'abord, dit trbs justement M. Jacobs, que " Ton soit certain qu'ils sont originaires de ce pays". " En

CoSQUlN. — Incidents communs aux Contes, etc. 73

d'autres termes," ajoute-t-il, "le problbme de la propagation des contes doit etre rdsolu avant qu'on aborde celui de I'origine."^

C'est la le bon sens meme. Et mon dessein, dans ces courtes observations, est d'attirer I'attention de tous les folk-loristes sur ce point; de les inviter instamment a etudier enfin les contes tels quails sont, et non les iddes plus ou moins " sauvages" qu'on y veut voir. Si, aprfes une etude comparative s^rieuse, ils arrivent a cette conviction, que des incidents aussi caract6risds et des com- binaisons d'incidents aussi particulieres ne peuvent avoir ^t^ in- ventus a deux, a vingt endroits a la fois, un grand pas sera fait vers la solution de la "question des contes". Mais si, jugeant les choses de haut et de loin. Ton persiste a regarder comma possible que, malgr^ leur complete ressemblance, non seulement des in- cidents, mais des contes entiers, n'aient rien de commun pour I'origine, on continuera a tatonner dans les tenfebres.

  • *

Peut-etre certaines personnes croiront-elles que j'exagfere les theories que je discute. Je citerai done encore quelques declara- tions expresses de M. Lang.

En 1884, il 6crivait ceci, dans son introduction a la traduction anglaise des Contes des frferes Grimm par Mme. Hunt (pp. xlii, xliii) : "Nous croyons impossible, pour le moment, de determiner jusqu'i quel point il est vrai de dire que les contes ont et6 trans- mis de peuple a peuple et transport's de place en place, dans le passe obscur et incommensurable de I'antiquitd humaine, ou jusqu'a quel point ils peuvent etre dus a I'identite de I'imagination

humaine en tous tieux Comment les contes se sont-ils re-

pandus, cela reste incertain. Beaucoup peut etre dfl a I'identit' de I'imagination dans les premiers ages ; quelque chose a la trans- mission. "^

^ " The stories cannot ... be used as archseological evidence of the behefs in the countries where they are found, unless we can be certain that they originated there. In other words, the problem of diffusion is of prior urgency to that of origin."

2 ". . . We think it impossible at present to determine how far they (the tales) may have been transmitted from people to people, and wafted from place to place, in the obscure and immeasurable past of human antiquity, or how far they may be due to identity of human fancy everywhere, . . The process of Diffusion remains uncertain. Much may be due to the identity everywhere of early fancy : something to transmission.

74 Folk-tale Section.

En 1888, M. Lang revient sur le meme sujet, dans son intro- duction aux Contes de Perrault (p. cxv) : " Les chances de coincidence sont nombreuses. Les idees et les situations des contes populaires sont en circulation partout, dans I'imagination des hommes primitifs, des hommes prescientifiques. Qui peut nous dire combien de fois elles ont pu, fortuitement, s'unir pour former des ensembles pareils, combines independamment les uns des metres ?"^

M. Lang ne se borne pas a des considerations generales ; il donne un exemple. Qu'on se reporte a I'edition d'une vieille traduction anglaise de la fable de Psyche, qu'il a publi^e en 1887, et on y lira, au sujet du type de conte si r(^pandu, dont la fable de Psyche est un specimen altdrd, I'affirmation suivante (p. xix) : " II n'est pas absolument necessaire de supposer que le conte a ^te invente une fois pour toutes, et qu'il s'est repandu d'un seul centre originaire, bien que cela puisse avoir eu lieu."^

Ainsi, d'apres M. Lang, une "combinaison fortuite d'dements fantastiques pourrait avoir donn^, en meme temps, dans une quantity de pays, la suite d'aventures que voici : jeune fille qu'on est oblig^ de livrer a un serpent ou autre monstre, lequel est en reality un homme sous une enveloppe animale, et qui dpouse la jeune fille ; defense faite a celle-ci par son man (qui ne vient que la nuit) de chercher a le voir, et d^sobeissance amenee par de perfides conseils ; — disparition de I'^poux mystdrieux ; — peregrina- tions de la jeune femme a la recherche de son mari ; — taches impossibles qui lui sont imposees par sa belle-mbre, et qu'elle finit par executer, grace a I'aide de divers animaux ; — reunion des deux dpoux.

Et c'est ce petit roman qui, avec tout son enchainement d'aven- tures, aurait pu, d'aprfes M. Lang, s'inventer a la fois dans je ne sais combien de pays, et sortir, uniformement arm^, de je ne sais combien de cerveaux "sauvages" ! En v^ritd, cela seraitplus que merveilleux.

1 " . . . The chances ot coincidence are .... numerous. The ideas and situations of popular tales are all afloat, everywhere, in the imaginations of early and of pre-scientific men. Who can tell how often they might casually unite in similar wholes, independently combined ?"

2 " It will .... not be absolutely necessary to suppose that the tale was in- vented once for all. and .=pread from one single original centre, though this may have been the case."

COSQUIN. — Incidents contmuns aux Contes, etc. 75

Quoi qu'il en soit, il importe que de telles possibilitis soient examinees de prfes et d^finitivement jugdes. C'est seulement ensuite que Ton pourra utilernent aborder la question de I'origine des contes populaires internationaux. J'ai traite, il y a deux ans, au Congrfes des Traditions populaires de Paris, cette question que j'avais d6ja ^tudiee dans I'introduction de mes Contes populaires de Lorraine} Mais, alors comme aujourd'hui, Vavant terrain, les avenues qui mfenent au point central de la discussion, etaient encore insuffisamment d^blayees, du moins si j'en juge par la confusion regnant dans beaucoup d'esprits.

Qu'on se mette done resolument au travail preliminaire qui vient d'etre indiqu6. C'est une question de bon sens qui se pose ; qu'on la rdsolve, et Ton aura fait beaucoup — beaucoup plus que Ton ne croit — pour les progrfes de la science.

1 Lc compte-rendu complet de ce congres de 1889 a paru tout recemment. — Le tirage a part de mon M^moire VOrigine des coniis populaires su^opeens et les tMories de M. Lang est en vente \ la librairie Vieweg (Bouillon successeur), 67, rue Richelieu.



The Folk-tale has hitherto suffered somewhat the same fate as one of her own heroines. On the way to join her spouse, she has been put aside by an envious sister who usurps her place and causes the true bride to perform menial tasks for her. At first it was Mythology that played the role of the Substituted Bride. The tale of Cinderella was studied in order to find traces of the dewy dawn, or of the rising moon, or the setting sun. The sun of that theory is for ever set, thanks in large measure to the genial wit and gentle irony of our versatile President. But while getting rid of one substituted bride, Mr. Lang has, in my opinion, only suc- ceeded in introducing another false claimant. Anthropology takes the place nowadays that Mythology once usurped, and the poor Folk-tale is set the task of finding "survivals" for her envious sister Anthropology. 'We are to study Cinderella on this method in order to discover traces of the old manorial custom of Borough English, in which the youngest child, and not the eldest, succeeds, or to find traces of animal metamorphosis, or to find other things in- teresting enough in their way, but having extremely little to do with Cinderella as a tale. Now, all these "survivals" are of interest in their way; I am even guilty myself of having written something on Borough English in some of the most ancient of folk-tales."^ But to study them is not to study the tale, and the first thing to do, in my opinion, is to study the tale itself, and to get what instruction we can for anthropology or for mythology afterwards. It is as if we were studying chemistry for the light it may throw on physiology: we have to get our chemical facts and theories

^ " Junior Right in Genesis," Archaological Review, vol. i.

Jacobs. — Science of Folk-tales. "]"]

right first, before we can constitute the science of physiological chemistry.

I may, perhaps, illustrate my point by an instance from a branch of literary art near allied to the folk-tale. The time may come when the novel will be regarded as being as "childish" as some superior persons of our times consider fairy-tales to be. In those dull days we can imagine a scientific student of the novel studying that delectable work The Mystery of a Haiisom Cab, and arguing elaborately that the work was written to illustrate the remarkable properties of hansom cabs. Remarkable they are, and we take them nowadays, perhaps, too much as a matter of course; but the writer of that book equally took them as a matter of course, and only used that means of locomotion in his story, if I may say so, in the ordinary course of business. So, too, the semi- savage author of the tale of Cinderella may have lived in a society where the youngest child succeeded, but he was not thinking of that when he composed his tale. And if we, in studying it, pay most attention to junior right, we are, so to speak, only putting the hansom cab before the horse.

There is, in fact, a fundamental difference between the folk-tale and the other departments of folk-lore which renders the anthro- pological method less applicable to it than to the others. Rites are performed, customs are kept up, for practical purposes, at least, in the first instance. The reason for these rites or customs are thus founded on some idea of the original performers of the rite or custom. Hence it is allowable to look for some savage idea at the root of seemingly unreasonable practices, and it is in this direction that the anthropological method has achieved its greatest successes. But unless we regard the folk-tale as a species of Tendenz-Roman, they have never been told to avert evil or get good luck from the dispensary of such commodities. Hence, if savage customs or ideas do occur in fairy tales, as indeed they obviously do, these are not the essence of the story in them; and if we study them chiefly or exclusively, we are devoting most attention to the accidentals of the folk-tale.

It is urged, indeed, on behalf of this method, that by this means we get valuable archseological evidence of the past of our race. Thus, if we find the tale of Cinderella in Ireland, we have evidence of the former existence of junior-right in succession to property in that country. Now, quite apart from the difficulty

78 Folk-tale Section.

that the tale may have been imported into Ireland, and cannot be used to prove the existence of junior-right there/ there is the obvious fact that such evidence is only confirmatory at least. We do not learn about the existence of junior-right from Cin- derella, or of the couvade from Aucassin et Nicokte ; we have other and better evidence for the existence of these customs. No anthropologist worth his salt would accept as evidence of a custom its existence in a folk-tale unless confirmed by archaeo- logical research in other directions. So that if we study the folk- tales for these survivals, we only arrive at second-hand material of precarious value.

AVhat then are we to study in a folk-tale? Well, in the first place the folk-tale itself and for itself. The essential character of folk-tales is best described by the Italian name for them, novelline popolari : they are little novels for children, as the others are for children of a larger growth. And in novels the essen- tial thing is plot, which has been well described as pattern in human action. ^Ve must be able to draw out this plot, or pattern, in the folk-tale, and for this purpose analyse it into its elements, which are the incidents of the story. There are many incidents common to several stories; you will all probably understand what I mean by the youngest best incident, the substituted bride inci- dent, the talking-bird incident, the envious stepmother incident. The first step is to draw up a list of these incidents, and especially of those that are common to several stories. I have found this so necessary in my own studies on the folk-tale, that I have drawn out a prehminary list of these common incidents running to about 700 in number. I have given them names, added bibliographical refe^rences by which their occurrence may be ascertained, and will print this tentative list and nomenclature and bibliography of folk- tale incidents in the Transactions of the Congress.-

Having got our list and nomenclature of incidents we shall then be able to describe and analyse a folk-tale without having to

1 I drew attention to this difficulty in my review of Mr. Hartland's Science of Fairy TaUi, Folk-Lore, ii, 125. I still remain unconvinced by his answer in that part of his Chairman's Address which deals with my "counter-theory without referring to my name. I feel bound to mention this, since Mr. Hartland has not done so, as otherwise in championing the said counter-theory I might be thought to be plagiarising — from myself.

' See Appendix to present paper, pp. 87-98.

Jacobs. — Science of Folk-tales. 79

repeat it. The naturalist who wishes to describe a mammoth does not carry it about with him ; the botanist who wishes to describe a lily does not carry it about with him like Mr. Oscar Wilde. Both have technical means of describing these objects of their study and their various parts, by which other naturalists who have never seen mammoths or lilies will be able to understand their constitution. So I hope that one day, instead of having to read the tale of " Lady Featherflight" we may be able to know its contents from the list of its incidents somewhat as follows: — Bride Winning Group. — Hero prisoner of giant — Bride wager — Tasks (byre-thatching, seed-division, sand-rope) — Answering inanimates — Obstacles to pursuit (forest, lake) — Face in pool — Lovers' union. I am not at all unaware that in rendering the story to such a skeleton its charm has for the time vanished, and I am prepared for some of our President's irony on such a scheme. But when one has to study a couple of dozen of stories of the same general character it is almost indispensable that one should have some such curt method of analysing, so as to be able to run over a large number of stories, picking out the common incidents, and thus arriving, if possible, at the original form in which the story first appeared, and thereby settling the place where the tale was first told.'-

That seems to me the problem most pressing in the study of the folk-tale just now. When did the story iirst appear, and how was it diffused to the places where it has also been found ? Till we know that, it is of little use to discuss the savage ideas in it, for it may not have arisen where there were savages ; and, at any rate, it does not follow that those ideas were ever prevalent among the people where the story happens to be found. English children of last century adopted from Perrault the story of Puss in Boots, but they did not therefore believe in speaking animals, or, rather, they were attracted to the story just because it contained these fantastic elements. And in settling the original habitat of a story, I do not see why we should depart from the method which natural- ists follow in settling the original habitat of a beast or bird. If Mr. Wallace wants to know which was the original home of the tom-tit, he draws a map of the world, marking where the varieties of tom-

1 I am glad to say that Miss Roalfe Cox, in her forthcoming volume of variants of Cinderella, has added such condensed lists of incidents to the analysis of the variants. I believe I may claim some of the credit for this innovation.

8o Folk-tale Section.

tits are to be found. So if I wished to discover where Tom Tit Tot came from, I also would draw a map showing the distribution of the various species of the tale known variously as Rumpelstilt- skin or Tom Tit Tot. And, to facilitate the drawing of such a map, I have compiled a map of Folk-tale Europe, putting the names of authors of collections instead of the names of towns.i Thus, where Halle stands in the ordinary maps, in my map stands the name of Grimm ; Edinburgh is replaced by Chambers, Copenhagen by Gruntvig, Palermo by Pitr^ Rome by Miss Busk, and Dublin by Kennedy. When we folk-lorists have a map like that, giving the locale of the very many collections of folk-tales, we can easily show the distribution of a tale by underlining in red or blue the name of the books in which the tales appear. I have little doubt that many problems of diffusion will solve them- selves "by inspection", as the mathematicians say.

One of the uses to which such a map might be applied would be a severe test of the true scientific value of the science of the folk-tale as here conceived. It is possible, I think, that we may be able to place our finger on the map and say, " In this district the story of Cinderella will be found, with such and such an incident omitted, and with such and such added." We could venture on this prediction if, by observation of our map, we saw that the variants of Cinderella found over that district on both sides, one had an additional incident to another. It might be worth while sending a folk-lorist to the said district, to see if our scientific prediction turned out to be true. But before we could do anything like this, we must have very much wider material than we at present possess, and much fuller knowledge of the folk-character of the various European districts. Yet I see nothing improbable in the idea; and even now we could with some certainty, I take it, predict the general character of the folk- tales, and indeed the whole folk-lore of a district, just as we could of Its fauna and flora. I think I could make a tolerably shrewd guess, even with the imperfect knowledge I possess, of the class

^ The deficiencies of tiie accompanying map will be excused in a first attempt. The names have mainly been taken from Cosquin and Liebrecht, with some recent addenda. The dates appended to the names are those of first publication, with the century truncated : thus Grimm \ 2 means that the first edition of the Grimms' Mdrchen appeared in 181 2. Folk-lorists desiring to have copies can obtain them on application to the Secretary of the Folk-lore Society.

Jacobs. — Science of Folk-tales. 8 1

of folk-tales which would be current in any specified division of the British Isles.

This geographical method* of regarding the diffusion of folk- tales will be, I believe, of considerable archaeological value in the distant day when Darkest Africa shall be completely open to the European explorer. The tribes and nations of the interior, from all we learn, have little or no knowledge of their own past : they ought to be happy, for they have no history. But it is quitepossible that a comparative study of the folk-tales among them may reveal unexpected points of contact of now distant races, and record migrations of which no other record exists. Let African explorers collect fetishes and customs of the natives. But let them also not neglect to put on record the tales with which they amuse their leisure hours.

And outside Africa the study of the problem of diffusion might serve to throw light upon many problems of folk-lore out- side the office of the folk-tale. It may even turn out, if we solve the problem for folk-tales, we may solve it for customs, and indicate lines of transmission along which customs have spread from one race to another. Indeed, if a presumption be granted that similarity implies common origin, much of our present pre- historic research will have to be reconstituted. And even in historical research, the existence of a wide system of folk- transference which does not leave historic traces of intermediate links, may be of vital significance. This is the historical problem of the relations of Christianity to Buddhism ; the chief difficulty lies in making such a presumption, which, if the views here expressed have any validity, need be no difficulty at all.^ In this instance the science of the folk-tale may have valuable aid to offer to theology.

Of course, in studying the diffusion of a fairy-tale, there are all manner of complications to be resolved before a definite solution can be reached. There has been so much mingling between the nations of Europe by travel, by intermarriage, by commercial

1 So far as I can ascertain from abridged German translations, much the same method appears to have been advocated by the late Prof. Krohn and his son, now Professor of Folk-lore at Helsingfors.

2 Thus Professor Carpenter, in discussing this question in his Three Gospels, pp. 139, 1 6 1, 174, only ventures to adopt the current hypothesis of independent invention rendered popular by Mr, Lang.


82 Folk-tale Section.

intercourse, that it seems an insoluble task to decide who bor- rowed from whom. It is even possible that a nation may borrow back what it has once lent. Thus, during my researches into the history of the ^sopic Fables, I found instances of fables which had once been Indian and had been brought to Greece, translated from Greek into Arabic, and in that strange guise re-entering India; or, in other words, in the last resort, India borrows from India. Nor can we trust the early appearance of a tale in literary form as any sure guide as to its original home, though, after all, if it is very early, that is some presumption. Most of the fables which Greece borrowed from India appear in Greek earlier than in Sanskrit.

That reference to India may lead me to deal with a theory which would solve all the problems of diffusion, if only it were entirely true. It is that represented by M. Cosquin, who says in effect : " India is the original home of the folk-tale. From there it has been carried by war, by commerce, by religious propa- gandism, to all the nations of the Old World, so that if we find the Samoans telling the same tale as West Highlanders, it is because both in .the last resort borrowed it from India.

Now, undoubtedly, in his elaborate notes to his Contes de la Lorraine, a storehouse of variants and parallels that is indispensable to the serious student, M. Cosquin has brought together an immense mass of evidence showing that the majority, not alone of the incidents of European folk-tales, but also of the welding together of these incidents into similar plots, are to be found in India. What I fail to observe in M. Cosquin's excursuses is any attempt to determine the question whether India may not have borrowed both incidents and plots from Europe, as well as vice versa. Whenever Indian meets European, European meets Indian, and borrowing is often a mutual process. Indeed, I think one of the interesting results of our study is likely to be the hitherto unnoticed fact that stories are the currency of social converse between folk of various races. Races "swop" stories; and I think it will be found to be a Grimm's law that the closer nations are the more stories they have in common. Till M. Cosquin, therefore, considers the possibility of India borrowing, we cannot allow him to have proved that India has lent.

It is in connection with this exclusively Eastern origin of our

Jacobs. — Science of Folk-tales. 83

folk-tales that ingenuity has been wasted on the question : Who brought the stories from India and the East ? The gipsies, say some, the Jews say others, the Crusaders form the subject of another suggestion, while Buddhist missionaries have been assumed to account for Russia's participation in the common story-store of Europe. Till the exclusively Indian origin has been put on a firmer footing than it is at present, we may let these theories mutually devour one another after the approved fashion of the Kilkenny cat.

And in this connection there comes in a practical application of our list of incidents which may be shortly referred to here. With such a list before us, running merely as a first attempt to some 700 numbers, it would be ridiculous for any holder of the Indian, or any other exclusive, origin of the folk-tale to be content with tracing only thirty or forty of these to their sup- posititious origin. Unless something like a majority can be so traced, no such conclusion can be maintained. Similarly, the adherents of the savage or anthropological theory may be asked to try their hand on our list on the same conditions.

Meanwhile, in this study of diffusion, the importance of end- links in the chain of dissemination becomes self-evident. We get rid of one complication when we get a nation who cannot pass on the tales further unless they throw them into the sea : Sicily and the Celtic lands of the British Isles are the chief examples of what I mean, and solution in this matter of diffusion is as likely to come from the study of the Celtic folk-tales of this island as from any other quarter I can think of.

As an example, I would take the group of tales known in Gaeldom as the Battle of the Birds, in Norse as The Master Maid, and in early Greece as the Jason-myth. The story with its incidents of The Three Tasks, The Escaping Couple, and The Obstacles to Pursuit (besides others like inanimates speaking and the oblivion embrace, which occur in many of the variants), is perhaps the widest spread of all folk-tales. Yet it gives us the impression of being a definite plot, of which the end has been thought out before the story is started. Now all the countries where this story is found have been in culture-contact with one another, and consequently the probabilities of its having been borrov/ed and diffused from a single centre are very great. How

G 2

84 Folk-tale Section.

are we to determine this centre? There are at least three criteria : Grimm's Laws we might call them. Where the story is told in fullest form and largest number of variants is likely to be the original home — that would give the palm to the Celts, among whom nearly a score of variants of the tale have been found. Another criterion is to be found in the nature of the ideas contained in the tale : if we found a tale turning on any peculiarly English custom, that would make England its most likely starting-point. Now Mr. Nutt has observed in the Jason- myth, as given in modern folk-tales, a distinct and vital reference to the Teutonic conceptions of Hades in the mountain, forest, and river which intervenes between the world of everyday-Kfe and the giants' realm. Our second canon, then, would give the origin of this group of stories to some Teutonic land. Again, we cannot neglect to take into consideration that an extremely early appearance of practically the same tale occurs in the Jason-myth. Here, then, by applying these three canons independently we get three different centres of dispersion for this group of stories. How to reconcile these discrepancies I will leave unsolved here, though I have elsewhere made a shot at the solution. ^

You will observe that throughout this discussion it has never occurred to me to consider the possibility that various versions of Cinderella, of Puss-in-Boots, or of The Master Maid may have cropped up independently in different lands. I think that is the natural course. If I am in Toledo, say, and I see a man with the same appearance as my friend Thomson, I do not say how strange and yet how natural that Toledo and London should have each produced an individual exactly similar ! I say, simply, " Hallo ! what 's Thomson doing in Toledo ?" And so, if I meet with a tale in Madagascar that I first knew in Germany, I do not indulge in wonder as to the kaleidoscope of incidents that shaped it independently into the same pattern, but I want to know how it came from Germany. In other words, I assume it to be impos- sible for a plot of any complication to be invented twice ; and I am confirmed in my belief by the fact that, as a rule, throughout Europe there are only about two plots a century that are invented entirely new. Try and think out a plot, and see how your mind insensibly glides into the well-worn channels of the plots you know,

1 Celtic Fairy Tales ; notes to No. xxiv,

Jacobs. — Science of Folk-tales. 85

That, however, is not the opinion of the dominant school of folk-talists (it is not a worse word than folk-lorist) in this country. As you know, both the genial President of our Congress, and the erudite Chairman of our Section, are inclined to think that this coming together of the same incidents, in the same order, and making the same plot, just chances to be so ; if it were, there is nothing more to say, and there is no science of the folk-tale. We others have, at any rate, the fun of guessing where the tale first arose, and the pleasure of inventing hypotheses more or less ingenious as to how the stories spread. Our friendly opponents have to seek in the folk-tale an interest quite other than the folk- tale had herself. They love her, so to speak, for her money, the anthropologist coin which she may be made to yield if pressed close enough. Those who think with me love the fairy-tale for her own sake.

It must be remembered, besides, that the problem of folk-tale diffusion cannot be regarded as isolated. There are several other products of the folk-fancy that show the same similarity in widely-parted regions, and in their case the possibility of inde- pendent origin is scarcely to be thought of as a possible solution. Thus recent research on the ballad-literature of Europe, which presents exactly the same phenomena as European folk-tales, is tending in the direction of postulating a single centre of dispersion, the north of France, for the whole literature : that is, at any rate, the opinion of such authorities as Count Nigra and M. Gaston Paris. Still more remarkable results of the same nature have been arrived at with regard to the game-rhymes of European children. Here we have a double criterion ; we have the same fantastic games accompanied by precisely similar nursery-rhymes, occurring in such distant quarters as England and Catalonia. Thus, Mr. W. W. Newell reckons that of thirty-eight Catalonian games described in Maspons' well-known book, no less than twenty-five exist in England, identical as to the games themselves, similar with regard to the accompanying rhymes. It is impossible that such identity should occur casually by the independent invention of both games and rhymes in England and Spain respectively. And if this is the case with such peculiar products as game-rhymes, why should it be necessary to assume that the resemblances in folk-tales occur casually ?

86 Folk-tale Section.

The Casual Theory of our worthy opponents assumes the chance medley of clashing incidents coming together, and forming everywhere the same plot. Mr. Lang and Mr. Hartland take a plot of a European folk-tale, with five or six incidents, a, b, c, d, and E, and point out that incident a is found in Samoa, inci- dent B in Peru, incident c in China, and so on ; and think they have proved that the whole series is universally human, and has chanced to have come together in that particular order in all the places where it is nowadays to be found. Mr. Lang, as an Oxford man, cannot be expected to know anything about the doctrine of probabilities, and that the chances against such an order of incidents occurring twice casually are greater than the odds of my bowling out Dr. Grace first ball. Besides which, the order is no casual one. In a good fairy-tale we find incident knit to each in a way to show that there has been an artistic, very often a poetic, spirit at play in the building up the plot.

There is my last quarrel with the casualists like Mr. Lang and Mr. Hartland. Mr. Hartland one can forgive, for he is a lawyer ; but that Mr. Lang, of all persons, should fail to feel that many folk-tales are masterpieces of constructive literary art, surprises me, I must confess. Is it for nothing that the order of incidents that go to make Cinderella have entranced some 300 millions of minds for as long probably as we can trace ? The fairy-tales have, indeed, the largest circulation of any conservative tale in the world, and they do not owe that distinction to a mere chance. Each of the well-known ones is a gem of literary art. Shall we despise them because they are short ? We place the Greek coin or gem on the same level as the Greek statue or pediment. Need we think nothing of them because their authorship cannot be traced ? Homer is but a nominis umbra, most of the Hebrew scriptures are anonymous, the Scotch ballads lack initials at the end. But as we feel that this and these and those were in each case the out- come of one creative outburst, so those little gems of romantic narration known and endeared to us as "fairy tales" were invented once and for all time from the heart and brain of a true literary artist. To seek, if not to find, the native country of that benefactor of his race is the true problem of Diffusion.

Jacobs. — Science of Folk-tales.



List of Folk-Tale Incidents common to European Folk- Tales, WITH Bibliographical References.

The following tentative list of folk-tale incidents does not profess to give all the incidents or separate "actions" m the plots of the whole corpus of the European folk-tale. It merely attempts to bring together such incidents as have been commented on by the great masters of the folk-tale — the Grimms, Prof. Kohler, M. Cosquin, etc. — as being common to several of the European folk-tales. Incidents in italics occur in drolls : some few occur likewise in the more serious tales, and are then entered twice. No attempt has been made to include the mediaeval stories and legends as, e.g., in Jacques de Vitry's Exempla, or even the more subtle details of the beast-tales : these last have already been named and bibliographised. Complete folk-tales, story-types, radicles, and formute, involving a succession and concatenation of incidents, are also excluded. I have given a tentative list in the Handbook of Folk-lore, pp. 117-135.


A. R. = Archceological Review. Benf. = Benfey, Pantschatanira, 1859. C. — E. Cosquin, Contes le Lor-

raine, 1886. = F. J. Child, English and

Scotch Ballads, 1882. seq. = W. C. Clouston, Book of

Noodles, 1889. = Crane, Italian Popular Tales. = Grimm, Household Tales, tr.

Mrs. Hunt, 1885. = Jones and Kropf, Magyar

Folk-tales, i8go. = R. Kohler in Archiv fur

slavischen Philologie. = R. Kohler in Blad6, Contes



Cr. G.

J. K.



agenots. Kg = R. Kohler in Gonzenbach, Sizilianische Marchen, End. ii.

Kj. = R. Kohler in Jahrbuch fiir eng. und rom. Philologie,

Kk. = R, Kohler in Kreutzwald, Estnische Marchen.

Km. = R. Kohler in Miltisine, t. ii, or {with Rom. figures) in Marie de France, Lais, ed. Warncke.

Ko. = R. Kohler in Orient und Occident.

Lcp. = A, Lang in Cupid and Psyche.

Lg. = A. Lang in Grimm-Hunt, In trod.

Lm. = A. Lang in Custom and Myth.

R. = W. S. Ralston, Russian Folk- tales.

S. = M. Stokes, Indian Fairy


T. = Temple, Wide-awake Stories, 1885.

In the majority of cases the names I have given to the incidents will suffice to identify them with students of the folk-tale for whom I have written. In any case a reference to the source indicated will decide.

Folk-tale Section.

Above mine, below yours, G. ii, 463 Accept not demon's gift, C. ii, 26 Accidental matricide, Kg., 224 Advice of fairy, Kj. vii, 262 ; C. i,

193 Advice disobeyed, C. i, 213 "Ah me !" Kg. 219 Aided by ogre, C. i, 218 and n. <j Aiding animals, Ko. 101-2 ; Kg.

216; Ka. 272, 280; Lg. Ixxiii

[cf. T. 401,412] y Angel's visits stopped. Km. 386 y Animal brothers-in-lavi', C. i, 343 ;

Kg. 223 Animal children [cf. T. 427] Animal comrades miraculously

born, C. i, 80, and n., 142; Ko.

118 Animal go-between, C. i, 78 Answering inanimates, G. i, 414 ;

Ko. 104 ; Kj. vii, 154 ; Kg. 213 Apparent bad bargain, Kj. v, 15 Apparent storm trick, Kj. viii, 268 Apple-pips speaking, Ko. 105, 1 1 1 Apprenticed to demon, Kj. vii,

268; R. 132 Ascent prevented, Kj. vii, 24 Ass, table, cudgel, G. i, 387 ; Kg.

234; R. 230; C.i, 53-4; ii, 66,

171; J. K. 394 [cf. T. 423] Asses' eggs, Kj. vii, 282 Aunt spinners, G. i, 354

Backtraces, Kg. 233; Kb. 149;

J. K. 388 [cf. T. 406] Barriers of heroine, C. ii, 19 Bath of youth, J. K. 349 Battle of birds and beasts, G. ii,

404 Battle of birds and beasts, Ko.

103 Bee-oracle, Kj. vii, 282 Belaughed witch curse, Kg. 210,


Best friend worst enemy, Ka.

285 Best mouthful, Cr. 381 Big eater, C. ii, 1 10 Birdhusk, Km. Ixxxix Bird mother [cf. T. 219] Bird reproaching oblivion, Ko.

112; Kg. 214 ; C. ii, 28 Bird revealing hiding place, C. i,

256-7 Birds foretell, G. i, 350, ii, 409 Bird's heart eaten, C. i, 73, «.; Ka.

274 Bird-throwing, Kj. viii, 252 Birth miraculous, Ko. 118; C.i,

67-70, 142 Blinded hero(ine), Kj. vii, 611 ;

C. i, 87-8; ii, 44 (f) Blood-drinking, Kg. 208 Blood-drops in snow [cf. Nutt, in

Maclnnes' Argyllshire Folk- Tales'] Blood resuscitates, Kj. vii, 134;

Kg. 237 ; G. i, 350, 375 ; J. K.

343 [cf. T. 403] Blood speaking, Ko. 107 Boasting calumny, C. i, 192 Bones together, G. i, 399; Ko.

680 Bom of beast, Kj. v, 11; C. i,

6-8 Box on ears, G. i, 423 ; Ko. 489-

505 ; C. ii, 334 Bread transformed, G. i, 352 Bride partition sacrifice. Kg. 249-

50; C. ii, 25 Bride wager, G. i, 377; Ko. 116

[cf. T. 430] Bridle retained, Ko. 321 Brother boast beauty. Kg.' 225-7 Brushmaker's bride, G. ii, 430 Bundle-opening tabu, Ko. 103 Buried children transformed, S.

250; J. K. 338 [cf. T. 400, 419]

Jacobs. — Science of Folk-tales.


Calumny [cf. T. 395] ]

Candle-lighting election, Km. 386 Cannibalism ordered, Kj. vii, 153 Cannibal princess, R. 175; Lg.

Ixxiv [cf. T. 395] Carried home by enemy in sack,

Kj. vii, 1 52 Carrier carried, Cln. 68 Carry water in sieve task, C. ii,

245 [see Sieve-pail] Casting sheep's eyes, Ko. 684 ; Kj.

V, 19; C. ii, 178; Cln. 126-8 Cat and Co. frighten robbers, G. i, 351,375, 390; Ko. 125-6; Kg. 245 ; C. ii, 103 Cat legacy, Km. 158 Cat nature, Cr. 381=5 Changed bride. Kg. 225 ; Cr. 338;

J. K. 386 [cf. T. 398] Changeling discovered, Ko. 321 Chastity test, Ch. i, 266-71; ii,

502 Cheese squeezing, Kj. vii, 252 Child from devil, Kj. vii, 263 Childless queen. Kg. 211 Child-murder calumny, Kg. 22 1 Church walls 7noved, Kj. vii, 286 ;

Cln. 55 Clever lass, Cr. 383 Clever lass, Ch. i, 485 Clothes invited, Cr. 38017 Coal and straw travel, G. i, 358 Coals on ashes, Cr. 308 Cock resuscitated, Ch. i, 239, 505 Collecting commission, Cr. 378^ Concealed food, Ko. 505-6 Concealment of heroine from

hero, C. i, 256 Concealment in golden bull, C. i,

275-6 Conditional permission to revisit parents, Kj. vii, 146 ; Kg. 209 ; C. ii, 130, 220; Ch. i, 488; Km. Ixxxiv; J. K. 370-1

Confused identity, G. i, 383, 385 Contented wife, C. i, 156-7 Cowards, G. ii, 418; Cln. 55 Cow for pig, pig for goose, etc.,

G. 1,452; C. i, 156-7 Cowhide sell, Ko. 489-505 ; C. i,

156-7 Creaking door cured. Kg. 21 1-2,

215 Cuckoo ends engagement. Km.

470; Cr. 380 Cure by animal language, A.R.'i,

86 Cure by laughing, G. i, 429 ; Kj. v,

15; Kg. 210, 224; Cr. 347; J.K.

312 Cutting golden hair, C. i, 196, n.

Dancing fleas, Kj. v, 15 (Benf i,

518) Dancing flute, G. ii, 411, 523; Kj.

V, 10 Dancing water, singing tree, and

bird of truth, Kg. 209; Km.

213; C. i, 192-3 Dark tower. Kg. 222 Dead mother aid. Kg. 219 Dead mother sell, C. i, 226-7 Beafv. Deaf Cr. 378? Death index, G. i, 422, 453; ii,

400; Ko. 119-20; Kg. 230;

Kb. 248 ; C. i, 70-2, 193 ; Cr.

326; J. K. 339 [cf. T.'s "Life

Index"] Deforming fruit and antidote, Kk.

365; Kg. 223; C. i, 127 Deliverance kiss, Kk. 365 ; Ch. i,

307 Demon's mother baked, Ka. 283 Descent into pit, Ko. 299-300; R.

80; C. ii, 6 Devil decides. Kg. vii, 6-7 Dipping into water transforms,

Ch. 1,338; ii, 505; iii, 505


Folk-tale Section.

Disguised as servant, Kj. viii, 256;

J.K. 3i9[cf.T.4i2] Disguised hero conquers thrice,

Kj. viii, 256 ; Kg. 246 ; C. i,

142-5 ; ii, 93 Disguised hero tells story, C. ii,

317 Divining cross, G. i, 425; C. i, 227-

31 Door thrown down, G. i, 418 ; Kj.

V, 20 ; Kj. viii, 267 Doves aid, Ko. 109 Dragon killed by dogs, Kj. iii, 133;

viii, 246; C. ii, 58; J. K. 325 Dragon-stealing, Kj. vii, 138 Dream foretells luck, J. K. 376

[cf. T. 403-4] Dress seized (of nymph), C. ii,

13-23 [cf T. 406] Dress demanded for recognition,

Kj. vii, 27 Drinking the moon, Kj. v, 1 1 Drinking river, Ko. 301 Drowning eels, Cln. 34

Eagle carries off hero, Kj. vii, 24;

Kg. 239; Ko. 299; C. ii, 141, n.;

Cr. 336-4 Eating bet, Kj. v, 7; C. ii, no Eating with fairies tabu, Ch. i,

322 Echo answers, Cln. 69 Ejaculation guess, G. ii, 45 1 ; C. ii,

188 ; Cr. 383 Enemy's children imitated, Ko.

301 ; Ka. 278 Enforced marriage postponed [cf.

T. 429] Eternal ferryman, C. i, 215 Evading demons, C. ii, 232 Evading marriage by demanding

wonders, C. i, 275 Evasion by transformation, J. K.


Exchanged ornaments disguise,

Ko. 301 Exposed hero, G. i, 421 ; C. i, 192 ;

^.i?. i,85; J. K. 374 Exposed princess, C. i, 77-8; ii, 58,

260 [cf T. 396] Extraordinary comrades, G. i, 435 ;

Benf. AusV 58, No. 41 seq.; Ko.

298; Kj. V, 14; vii, 33; Kk.

357; Kg. 248-9; C.i,9, 123-5;",

145; J. K. 407 [cf. Nutt in Mac-

Innes] Eye bet, Kj. vii, 9 Eye for food, G. ii, 569 Eye restored, C. ii, 44; Kj. vii, 6;

Kg. 252 Eyes exchanged, G. ii, 416

Face mirrored in pool, Ko. 109 Fairy salve, Ch. i, 339; iii, 505 Falling on robbers, C. i, 241-2 False champion, Kj. vii, 133. See

Impostor False bride pickled. Kg. 227 False sister of dragon slayer, Kj.

vii, 133 Fatal bride task, K. Germ, iii, 203 Fate personified. Kg. 218; R.

196-8 [cf T. 400] Father, unnatural, G. i, 430 ; Ko.

294-6; Kg. 220-1, 229; R. 159,

n.; C. i, 275; J. K. 401 Eat wolf prisoner, G. i, 436 ; C. ii,

160 Fay spouse summoned, Kj. vii,

146-7 Fear unknown, G. i, 342-7; ii, 419;

Ko. 680 ; Kg. 237; C. ii, 259 ;

J. K. 405; R- C. 3 Feather guides, G. i, 428 Feeding animals rewarded, C. i,

139, n- Feefifofum, Lp. Ixiii; J. K. 340-1 Feigned illness, J. K. 386 [cf. T.


Jacobs. — Science of Folk-tales.


Feigning death, Ch. ii, 356; iii,

517 Feigning death, Cr. 299 Fight with dragon, Kg. 230 ; C. i,

72-7; ii, 167 Finger gilt, Kj. viii, 256-9 Finger ladder, Ko. 1 1 1 Fingers burnt licked,^. 7?.i, 173-7 Fleabite blows, Kj. viii, 252 Fleakin and Lousikin, G. i, 359,

378 ; Ko. 123-4 ; C. i, 204-7 ;

ii, 310 Fleaskin riddle, Kj. v, 13; Kg.

208 Fly on nose, Cr. 38013.14 Fool guest, G. 11,405; K0.687; Kj.

V, 3 ; Cr. 3782; cin. c. vli Forbidden box. Kg. 218 Forbidden chamber, G. 1, 342,

395-7; Ko. 678; Kj. vii, 152; Kk.

365; C. 1, 138, 183; 11, 61 ; Lp.

1x1 [cf. T. 415] Forbidden door. Kg. 208 For luck {Christmas, etc.), Kj. viii,

267; C. 1, 240-1 Forty thieves, Kg. 251 Four pence a day. Kg. 234 ; Cr.

38i=«  Fox and cat, G. 1, 437 Fox in cart, C. 11, 160 Fraudulent sales, C. i, iii; ii, 136,

235 Frog husband, Ko. 330; Ch. 1,298;

J. K. 404 Frog hymn. Km. 386 Fruit maiden. Kg. 211

Gallows fruit, G. 1, 415; C. i, 213 Gambling for magic objects, C. 1,

126-7; ii, 13-6, 85 [cf. T. 396,

427] Genii from sack, C. i, 55, «. Get inside, Ko. 301; Kj. v, 4-5;

vii, 268; Ka. 275 [cf. T. 406]

Get inside again, Kj. v, 17 Ghosts frightening, Ko. 679 Giant outwitted, Ko. 683; Kj. v, 7 Giant outwitted, Kj. vii, 16; Kg.

231 Giant suckling, G. ii, 384 Gifts by grateful animals, C. i,

170-2; 11, 130, 230 Given on condition. Kg. 240 Giver of gifts, C. 1, 52-3; ii, 66 Giving own flesh to eat, Ko. 299;

Kg. 239 Goat corpse, C. ii, 183; Cr. 38012-16;

Cln. 153-4 Godfather Death, Kj. vii, 19; Kg.

217 Godfather quest, G. 11, 325; C. i,

44; ii, 229; J. K. 359 Gold apple tree, Kk. 357 Golden bird, horse, water of life,

Ko. 686; G. i, 415; R. 285-7;

C. 1,213 Golden hair, G. ii, 382; K. Germ.

xi, 401 Golden mountain, G. 1, 392 Good bargain, G. 1, 351 Grateful animals, G. 1, 42^7; G. 1,

48; Cr. 335; Lcp. Ixvi-xx; J. K.

303-6, 373 Grateful fox, C. i, 213; J. K. 303-6 Grinding mountains, R. 236, n. Guarding parents' tomb, C. ii,

71-3. See Watching Guessing name test, G. i, 413;

Kg. 256-7; C. 1, 269; J. K. 333

Hair powerful. Kg. 216, 230; G. i, 377-8; S. 268-71 [cf T.431]

Hair quest, K. Germ, xi, 392; F. Liebrecht ib. xii, 81

Half apple test, K. Germ, x, 447 ; Kg. 259; Ch. i, 85, 489

Half riding, Cr. 382

Hammering death, Cr. 380^°


Folk-tale Section.

Hand cut off, G. i, 379; Kg. 220; C. ii, 325 ; J. K. 338; Ch. iii,

497 Hand of glory, C. i, 184 Hard delivery, Kj. vii, 255; Kg.

210-1 Hare and hedgehog, G. ii, 463 Hare postman, Kj. vii, 280; Cr.

304 Haunted castle, R. 282; C. ii, 262,

311 Hen divided. Kg. 205; Cr. 382 Henny-penny, Cr. 377 Herd stealing, C. ii, 276 Hero recovered from deep, C. i,

172 Hermit and angel, Km. 386 Hold on till cockcrow, Ch. i, 336 Horse's ear purse, Ko. 107, 112 Horse shaving task, Kk. 359 Horse stealing, C. ii, 277 House without windows, Cln. 58-

65 How far to heaven, Cr. 276 How many stars, Cr. 272 Huff and puff, C. ii, 320; Cr. 377 Human midwife, Ch. i, 359; ii,

505 [cf Hartland, Science] Husband in basket, G. ii, 395 Husk burnt, Kj. vii, 254-6; Kg.

231; Kk. 363 (Benf. i, 254);

Km. Ixxxi Husks, Lcp. Ivii-lxii ; J. K. 386

[cf.T. 421,423]

Iced wolf stall, G. i, 436; C. ii, 160 "If I married King", C. i, 190-1;

J- K. 337 "If so and so were to happen", G.

1,418; Ko. 319; Cr. 280; Cln.

198 hnaginary pursuit, C. ii, 349; Cln.


Impoliteness punished, Kj. vii, 25;

C. i, 214 Impostor, K. Germ, xi, 398; C. i,

44-6; ii, 294 (m); ii, 44, 199(f) Impostor discovered, Ko. 112-3 Inanimates bespelled, Lg. Ixxii Indelible blood, Kj. vii, 172 Inquiries after unknown land, Kj.

vii, 255 Inside again, G. ii, 401 Instrument resuscitating, Kg. 232;

C. ii, 7, 185 Invisible cap, Kj. vii, 146 ; Kk.

359 [cf. T. 423] Iron shoes, Kj. vii, 254; Kg. 224;

K. Awar. xxvi ; Kb. 159; Cr.

324 "I see you", Kj. vii, 152-3

Jachimo, Ko. 315; Kg. 209 Jealous brothers, Kg. 238; J. K.

392 Jealous mother-in-law, G. i, 409;

C. ii, 244 Jealous stepmother, Kg. 206; Cr.

331 [cf T. 394] Jealous stepsister, C. i, 250, 256 Jonah on board, Ch. ii, 15, 510 Jonah's whale, Lp. Ivii; R. C. 6

[cf. T.411] Jumping into shirt, Cln. 209 Jumping over table, Ch. ii, 127,


Killing reward, G. i, 415, 421; it,

433; Kg. 245; R. 134 Killing riddle, Kj. vii, 272 King abducts heroine, J. K. 314-6 Kingship test, A. R. i, 98 King Sole, G. ii, 455 King Wren, G. ii, 455 Knife trick, Kj. v, 12

Jacobs. — Science of Folk-tales.


Ladder of hair, G. i, 353; Kg. 236;

Cr. 335; Ch. i, 486 Landship, Ko. 298-9; Kg. 249 La Perette, G. ii, 453 [cf. M.

Miiller, Sel. Essays, i, 417-500] Language of animals, G. i, 357;

Ko. 686; Km. 384-6; A.R.'i [cf

T. 413] Laziness bet, G. ii, 445-7 Leaves into ships, Kk. 359 Letter substituted, Ko. 289 Letter to kill bearer, Kg. 220 [cf

T. 410] Lieland, G. ii, 450, 452 Lies, G. ii, 424, 435, 442, 450, 452 Life index, Ko. 101-3, 117; Kg.

215-6; Cr. 335; C. i, 173-7; ii,

131; J. K. 339-40,371,378,400

[cf T.] Frazer, Golden Bough Life restoring herb, G. i, 356; R.

236; C. \,Zo,n.; Cr.326; J. K.

341; Km. cv-vii [cf T. 404-5] Light tabu, G. ii, 433; Kg. 225-6 Limbs restored, G. i, 379 Looking back tabu, G. ii, 400; S.

282-3; J- K. 362 [cf T. 415] Loss of temper bet, Ko. 683-4; Kj.

viii, 250; C. ii, 50 Love by portrait, Cr. 33812 Love in dream, Ko. 302 Love under husk. Kg. 246 Lovers deluded. Kg. 237 Loving like salt, Ko. 152; C. i,

288 Lucky now or later? Kg. 218 Lying watch, G. ii, 413; Kj. vii,

277; J- K. 350

Magic beanstalk, Kj. v, 23; vii,

278; R. 293-8; J. K. 188; C. ii,

171 Magic horse, mule, etc., G. i, 412,

S. 278-9; C. i, 2i6and«.; J. K.


Magic plants, A. R. i, 164 Magic purse, hat, etc., G. ii, 422;

Ko. 124-5; Kj. vii, 246; C. i,

125-6; ii, 84, 285 Magic ring. Km. Ixxxiv ; A.R.x,

163; Kj. vii, 146 Magic ring answers, Ko. 121, 123 Magic sword, C. ii, 185; J. K.

350-2 Magical ascent, C. i, 14 Magical fruit disappears, C. i,

12 Maiden transformed to flower,

G. i, 437; R. 17, n. Man stealing, C. ii, 277 Marking house with chalk, C.

ii, 7 Marriage with animals, G. 1,427-9;

ii, 379; Lg. Ixxi; Lcp. liv-vii;

J. K. 400 Married to first comer, C. ii, 100 Marvellous breath, G. i, 453 Master thief, G. i, 431, 464 Master thief, Ko. 305-13, 678; Kj.

V, 4-8; vii, 138 Matricide by overfeeding, Cr. 380 Measuring gold by bushel, C. i,

225-6, 229 Meeting at church, Ko. 682 Message after a week, Cr. 378

(290) Message unsupported. Kg. 226 Metamorphosis, Lg. Ixxii Miraculous nourishment, C. i, 151-

2 and n. Mistaken fratricide, Kg. 230 Money recovered, C. ii, 339 Monster hero, C. ii, 224 Moonrakers, Cln. 44 Mother transformed, Kg. 224 Mountains of jewels, C. ii, 20, n.;

J. K. 350 Mrs. Fox mourns, G. i, 387; Cr.



Folk-tale Section.

Murdered mother returns thrice, G. i, 352;C.i,235; R. 2o;J. K.

403 Myself", Cln. 194-5 "Myself", Ko. 331

Name knowing tabu, A. R.\, 118 Name on hoof, G. ii, 430 Needle in hay, Kj. v, 19 Nine, Kk. 356-7 Nonsense story, Cr. 263 Noodle, Kg. 228; R. 54, n.; C. ii,

330, 349; J- K. 355-8 Nostrums for getting children [cf.

T. 429] Not counting self, Cln. 28-33 Nuts containing wonders, Kj. vii,

255; Kg. 240; C.ii, 145

Oblivion curse. Kg. 237 Oblivion drink, Ch. i, 363 Oblivion embrace, G. i, 430-1 ; ii,

414; Ko. 105, 107, no; Kk.

362; Kg. 212, 213-4; Cr. 343-4;

C. ii, 17; J. K. 321 Oblivion food, Ko. 108 Oblivion removed by story telling.

Kg. 237 Obstacles to pursuit, Ko. in; Kk.

362; R. 132, 142-3; Cr. 335; C.

1,139, 141; J- K. 393-4; Lc.92-3 One answer for all, G. i, 383, 385;

Kj. v, 9 One cheese after another, Cln. 34-5 " One of them" , G. ii, 401; Cr. 383;

C.ii, 186 Oracle solving reward. Kg. 233 Outcast child, Ka. 288 Out of sack, G. I, ^2y, Ko.48g-5o6;

Kj. vii, 128; Cr. 293, 307; C. i,

113; ii, 209 Overheard council of witches, Kj.

vii, 6; Cr. 325?

Parents' obeisance, A. R. \, ?>6 ;

Km. 385 Partition of pay among beasts.

Kg. 212; C. i, 170-2; ii, 130 Passers-by judges, G. ii, 391, 575;

Kj. V, 6-7, 146; Kk. 359; C. i,

93, n., 1 70- 1 Patches, G. i, 453 Paunch cut, Kj. vii, 16; Kg. 231;

C.ii, 51 Paws in vice, G. i, 402; C. i, 30-1 Pea for hen, hen for pig, etc., Cr.

373; C.ii, 205 Pearls from mouth, C. ii, 119; Lg.

225 [cf. T. 426] Peepo ! bride wager, Ka. 272 Pet animal denies it has eaten,

C.ii, 116 Pilgrim from Paradise, C. i, 239;

Cln. 205, 214-8 Pixy cobblers, G. i, 389; C. i, 84-5 Pledge left, G. ii, 405 Polyphemus, Ko. 122; Cr. 3453' Pot without fire sell, Cr. 305; C. i,

III; ii, 136 Pound of flesh, Ko. 315-6 Prickly barrel punishment, G. i,

354 Princess brought through air, C.

ii, 6, 84 Princess cured, Kj. vii, 6, 1 1 Princess guarded by dragon, C. i,

13, '2- Princess with golden hair, C. ii,

302 Prisoner of giant, C. ii, 13; R.

132 Promised before birth to demon,

G.i,4i3; ",392; K0.115; Kj.vii,

145, 262; vii, 256; Kk. 362; Kg.

236; R. 132; C. i, 139-41, 164,

171-2, 269; ii, 13, 16, 232, 316;

J. K. 384 Prophetic child. Kg. 222

Jacobs. — Science of Folk-tales.


Proud princess, G. i, 406; Kg.

216-7; C. ii, 100 Punishment evaded, G. i, 351 Punishment transferred, Cr. 291 Puppet in bed, Kg. 227 Puppets, R. 159-60 Puppies substituted for babes, C.

i, 191 [cf. T. 397] Pursuer transformed, G. i, 414;

Ko. 117; Kk. 362; Kg. 213,215;

J. K. 398; C. i, 155-6; ii, 12, 26 Puss in boots, Ko. 686; Kg. 242-5;

Ka. 286

Queen by spinning, G. i, 355, 413;

C. i, 269; J. K. 330 Question task, Kj. v, 4 Quest test for heroship, C. i, 213,

265; ii, 235; Ch. i, 125 Quack doctor, Cln. 163 Quilt stealing, Kj. iii, 137

Rain of figs, Kj. viii, 266; Cr. 380 Rat's tail up nose, C. i Recognition by jewels, C. i, 220,

«.; Lp. Ixxxix [cf. T. 414] Recognition by story telling. Kg.

222 Recognition of heroine among

others. Kg. 246; R. 132; C. ii,

25; A. R. i, 28 Redcap, C. ii, 265 Reference tabu, Kj. vii, 146 Refusal to confess theft, G. i, 441;

Kg. 218; C. i, 286-7; ii, 61 Refusal of grateful animal to in- jure benefactor, C. ii, 241 Rejuvenation, Kj. vii, 29; Kg. 248 Rescue of princess from giant, C.

i, i72[cf T.417] Resuscitation, Kj. vii, 152; Kg.

222, 259; C. i, 287; ii, 345; Km.

cv; Lp. Ixii; J. K. 341, 386

Resuscitation by sacrifice of child,

G. i, 350, 375 [cf- T. 402] Revelation tabu, G. i, 350 [cf. T.

402] Rhampsinitus, Ko. 305 Riddle bride wager, G. i, 406; ii,

394 ; Ko. 320; Kg. 218; R. 247;

Cr. 343; Ch. i, 415-9; ii, S'Q;

C. ii, 113 Riddle bride wager reversed, Cr.

343 Riddle husband wager, Ch. i,8-io,

485; ii, 495 Riddle ^posers, G. ii, 448 Riddle posers, Ch. i, 405-10; ii,

505; Kj. V, 6-8 Riddles, G. ii, 449 Riddles guessed, G. ii, 414; Ko.

689; C. ii, 136; Cr. 378 Riddle task, Kj. vii, 273; Kg. 215 Riddling replies. Km. 275-6; Cr.

382 Ring in cup recognition, Ch.i,202,

502 Ring of recognition, Cr. 337'?; C.

i, 277 [cf. T. 416] Ring stealing trick, Ka. 284 Rip van Winkle, G. i, 405 ; R. 306 Riverside waif, Kj. vii, 147 [cf.

Outcast Child] Roast wheat sown, Cln. 120 Robber's tongue cut, C. i, 244-5 Robber wooer, G. i, 389, 395; C. i,

1 80- 1 Rob giant of three things task, C.

i, 46-7

Sale of bed, Kb. 145; Ch. i, 391 Sale to animals, G. i, 351; Cln.

148 Sale to statue, Kj. v, 20; Cr. 379'^;

C. ii, 178; Cln. 146 Scissors, R. 37; Cr. 378


Folk-tale Section.

Scarecrow, Kg. 208

Scratching match with devil, G. ii,

463 Seeing tabu, Kg. 214,215; Lcp.

xli-ix; Lg. Ixxiv Self-judgment, Kg. 209, 210, 212;

C. i, 216 Serpent, man and fox {Inside

again). Kg. 247; Ka. 279 Serpents, A. R. i, 166 Sesame, G. ii Seven brothers. Kg. 232 Seven veil beauty, Kg. 242 Sex test, Kg. 216 "Shall I enjoy the lamb?" Kg.

222 Sham resuscitation, Cr. 305 Sharing sorrow, G. ii, 455 Shining feather, C. ii, 296 Shoes of swiftness, Kk. 359 Shut door for enemy. Km. 214 Sick prince and secret remedy, Cr.

3257 Sieve pail, Cln. 200 Sight restored, G. ii, 409 [cf. T.

417] Silent couple, Cln. 107-17, 184 Silly son, Cln. c. v Singing bone, G. i, 376-7; Kg. 235;

C. i, 266; Ch. i, 125, 493; iii, 499 Sitting on eggs, G. i, 382 ; Cr.

38018 .Sleep bride wager, Kg. 239; Ch. i,

391; ii, 506 Sleeping draught, Ch. i, 307, n. Sleeping princess, Kk. 359 Sleep paper. Kg. 209 Sleep thorn and apple, Ko. 682 Slipper token, Ko. 295-6; Lp.

xcix Snake spouses, R. 119 (Benf. i,

242-7, 266-7) Snow-white, blood-red. Kg. 212

[cf. Nutt on Maclnnes]

Solitary tower, C. i, 9, 11; ii, 144 Solomon^ s judgment, Cr. 382 Solomon's ring, Kk. 365 Son's greatness foretold, A. R. i,

85 Soul saving task, Kj. vii, 262 Sparrow avenges dog, G. i, 457 Speaking with mouth full, Cln. 58 Stable cleansing task, Ko. 104 Star on forehead, G. ii, 398; Kg.

207; C. i, 190-1; J. K. 338-7 Steed stealing task, Ka. 284 Stickfast, G. i, 429; Ka. 289;

Cr. 262 Stone-on-cord, Kg. 241; C. i, 13-14 Stones tied up, Cln. 79 Story without end, G. i, 454; ii,

465; Cr. 371-2 Strict obedience, G. i, 383, 385; Cr.

381; Cln. 51,97, 124 Strong hero, G. ii, 382; Kj. v, II;

vii, 25; C. i, no and n., 268 Submarine sheep, Kj. v, 12; G. i,

423; Cr. 381" Substituted animal's heart, C. ii,

324 Suckled for years, C. i, 18, n. Swan maidens, G. ii, 432 ; Kg.

207; Kb. 149; S. 242, 276; J.

K. 363-5 Sweat power, Kg. 242

Table covered, Kj. v, 21

Tail down, G. ii, 404

Tail in barrel hole, Ka. 276

Tailor in heaven, G. i, 386

Tails planted, Kj. viii, 252; Km.

474; C. ii, 50; Cr. 380 Take care of door, Cln. 97 Take what you like best, Cr. 382^7 Talking bird. Km. 213 Talking animals reveal secret, C.

i, 89; J. K. 322-3[cf.T.4i2]

Jacobs. — Science of Folk-tales.


Taming of shrew, Kg. 216-7; C.

ii, 100 Tap out, G. i, 418 Tarred and feathered, G. i, 383 Task of building castle, C. ii, 2 5 Task of cutting fruit, C. ii, 24 Tasks, G. ii, 414; Kg. 212; R. 132,

148-9; C. ii, no, 268, 309; J. K.

379, 389, 390,398, 415 [cf- T.

421, 43°] Tasks set heroine, C. ii, 237 Teeth whetting absence. Kg. 212 Telling tabu, Ch. i, 362 Tell's shot, Ch. iii, 15-21 Tempted by devils, Kj. vii, 275;

Kk. 326 Thankfiil dead, K. Germ, iii, 199-

209; Kj. V, 3; Kg. 250; Ka. 323-

9; C. i, 214-5; ii, '4 and n. Thief discovered by answer, C. i,

317-9 Thirteen, Kj. vii, 138 "Thou hast it", Kb. 150; C. ii,


Three blows tabu, A. R.\,io<) Three brothers go seeking, Ko.

686; Kj. vii, 24; Kk. 357; C. i,

213-4; ii, 50 Three-eyed stepsister, G. ii, 429;

Ko. 680; Kj. y, 21; R. 183; C.i,

251-2 Three fights in disguise, C. ii, 93 Three noodtes quest, Cln. l. vii [c£

Fool quest] Three princesses freed, Kj. vii,

24-6 Three stripes from back, Kj. viii,

250; R. 137; Km. 474 Throwing bet, Kj. v, 7 Thrown in water, C. i, 250 Thyestian dish, R. 168 Time flies in fairyland, Kj. v, 364 Toads from mouth, C. ii, 119; Lp.


Tom Thumb in cow, G. i, 393;

C. ii, 190 Tom T. in horse's ear, G. i, 393 Tom T. in wolf C. i, 151 Tom T. sold to thieves, Kj. vii,

611 ; Cr. 372 Tongue cut proof, Kj. vii, 133;

Kg. 230; Kb. 148; C. i, 78

[cf. Frazer, Gold Bough] "Top or, G. i, 341; C. ii, 159,

161; R. C. 7 Towers of steel, silver, and gold,

R. 83; C. i, 13 and«.; ii, 93 Transformation into animals, C. i,

132 Treasure in statue, C. ii, 179 Treasure shown by ghosts, C. ii,

263; R. C. 3 Tree fruit only plucked by heroine,

C. i, 252 Tree maiden, Kj. v, 21 ; Ch. i, 98-9 Truth or untruth bet, Kj. vii, 7 Turned into stone, Kj. vii, 134;

Kg. 230; C. i, 78 (f); Kj. vii, 134

(f) [cf. T. 401] Twin brothers, Ko. 118, n.; Kj.vii,

132; Kg. 229

Underworld, Kg. 257-9; R. 80;

Cr. 336; Lg. Ixxiv Unknown land, Kj. vii, 146; J. K.

375-8,406,410 Unsheathed sword in bed, Dasent

cxxxiv-v; Kg. 230; J. K. 375;

Ch. i, 298; ii, 127, 511 Untrue fails, Kj. vii, 6

Visit to robber wooer, Kj. 209; C. i, 184-5

Wakeful dead, Kj. vii, 282 ; Cln.

163 Water finding, Kj. vii, 1 1 Watching tree. Kg. 241 H


Folk-tale Section.

Watching father's tomb, Kk. 359;

R. 259; C. ii, 71-3; J- K. 390

[see Guarding] Water of life, G. ii, 400; Kg. 242;

R. 17, n., 230-6; C. ii, 298, 302^ Water quench fire, C. i, 282-4; ">

35; Cr. 372, 3 Water of sight, Ko. 124 Water of strength, R. 237-9; J. K.

353; C. i, 13 Water of youth, C. i, 372-3 "What shall I bring back?" Kg.

208-9; C. ii, 218; Cr. 324 "What,ivader 0.\\, 0,1% When absurdities occur, Q\t\. 156 "When impossibles happen", Ch.

i, 437; iii, 507 White feet sesame, G. i, 347; C. ii,

249 Whittington's cat. Kg. 251 W Iwlc forest at once boast, G. ii,

461; Kj. viii, 252 Why so dry ? Ka. 287 Widow's son, Ko. loi, 105, 117,

303 Wife killed, G. i, 453 Witches' oath, Kg. 214 Witch turned into horse, Ko. 321 Wolf and man, G. i, 435 Wolf down chimney, C. ii, 249

Wolf-ram, Kj. vii, 282

Wolf s paunch cut, Cr. 270-2; R.

C. 6 Woman telling secret, C. ii, 318;

Cr. 381=3 Wonder dresses demanded, Ko.

294; Kg. 229; C. 1,276 Wonderful bird, Kk. 357; Ka. 274 Wonder fruit disappears, Kj. vii,

24 Wonderful lamp, C. ii, 6, 68 Wooing by food, A. R. i, 28 Worn-out shoes, J. K. 329 Wounded bird hero. Km. Ixxxix

X at a blow, G. i, 359-64; C. i, 96-7

Youngest best, G. i, 364-7, 415; Ko. 300-1, 689; Kj. vii, II, 24, 153; Kg. 206(f), 209, 2i8,2i9(f), 238, 241, 248; Ka. 283; R. 49, 80, 169,298; Km. 213; C. 1,213; ii, 123, 184; i, 190; ii,2l8; J.K. 335; Lp. xcvi-ix; Lg. Ixxv

Zigzag transformation, Ch. 1,401; iii, 506

Jacobs. — Science of Folk-tales. 99


Mr. W. F. KiRBY called the attention of the Conference to Mr. Jacobs' proposal of tabulating the incidents of folk-tales in such a way as to be able to get a whole tale in a few words for scientific purposes. It almost seemed to him that such a plan was feasible. He had never heartily approved of the present way of tabulating folk-tales, which seemed to him to involve too cumbersome and gigantic a task. The plan which Mr. Jacobs advocated seemed to him much more feasible, and the enormous material which had been collected for some years past by the folk-lore members of the Society of Antiquaries could pos- sibly be utilised much more readily for that purpose than for the tabulation of folk-tales.

Mr. Alfred Nutt said that Mr. Newell's paper and Mr. Lang's remarks upon it touched subjects which must engage the attention of folk-lorists for many years to come, and which bore more or less on one or two particular folk-tales, one of which was the story dis- cussed by Mr. Newell and which Mr. Jacobs had alluded to by referring to some old remarks of his own (Mr. Nutt's) on the subject. He fully and cordially sympathised with the remarks which Mr. Lang had made on the subject of Mr. Newell's paper ; it seemed to him that the principle upon which Mr. Newell went was an entirely false one, and in so far as Mr. Jacobs countenanced that theory Mr. Jacobs also was wrong. To him it seemed certain that they must in all cases look to the root rather than the perfect flower : they must seek for the origin of these stories among the rudest and crudest, and not among the most highly perfect and most elaborate forms. If they found all over the world certain detached incidents, and in one particular case all 'the incidents put together in a story, they must seek for the origin of the incidents separately rather than in conjunction in one complete story. There- fore, it seemed to him that the anthropological school, of which their Chairman was a worthy representative, must be considered superior — in the view of history of mankind — to the school which confined its attention to a complete story, merely endeavouring to trace the origin of that story in a particular country. It seemed to him that the quest of the anthropologists was of more permanent value for the general store of human science than the other, which was only a subsidiary one. The task of the latter, although of great interest in itself, seemed to have its chief value in the hope of tracing by its means those races amongst which particular stories took their rise, and of obtaining some idea as to the special genius and character of that race; but that task was fraught

H 2

100 Folk-tale Section.

with immense difficulty, and could not be accomplished for a long time to come. Turning to the particular story which Mr. Newell had told them that morning, Mr. Nutt noted that the lecturer had left out of consideration that feature of the story which was most promi- nent in the greatest number of variants : the story of the flight, with regard to which he (Mr. Nutt) had endeavoured to trace some connec- tion between its incidents and the material feature of the Teutonic Hades. If any gentleman was present who had special knowledge of Teutonic mythology, he would have liked to hear some criticism on that theory. Mr. Jacobs had told them that he advocated three separate criteria, each one giving a fresh centre of diffusion for the story. He (Mr Nutt) thought that in seeking to determine the special centre of diffusion for a story which they found at all events among poeples speaking European and many non-European langTiages, they were pursuing a vain task. They could not even determine the Teutonic, Greek, or Latin share in the constitution of a story, and when it became evident that a great proportion of these stories was practically found all the world over, the task became exceedingly difficult. All they could do was to determine the origin of the ele- mentary facts of which the story was composed, and to say whether it was likely that those facts could ever have been spun out in such and such a state of society. It was comparatively unimportant to determine where they were put together in perfect form, and altogether unimportant to follow the subsequent wandering with an absolute de- gree of scientific certainty. All they could say, as their Chairman had pointed out this morning, was, that to find a home in a strange race, a story must find the soil prepared for it, as seeds could not possibly be planted on rocky ground. Supposing that at the end of the eighteenth century one of the Irish story-tellers, who perambulated the Western Highlands of Scotland, had carried Robiitson Crusoe in his pocket and told the story broadcast, he did not believe that five years afterwards a single trace of it could have been gathered there from tradition. His conclusion was this, that the stories still found traditionally in the Western Highlands must have originated in some such state of society as the folk of the district lives in to this day. It seemed to him that the most vital conclusion was this : the more they attempted to definitely fix the origin of a story at any particular period, the more they were likely to rely upon secondary and insufficient evidence.

Professor John Rhys said, having come there without anyknowledge on the subject, his mind was now, after what he had heard from the Chair, from Mr. Nutt, and others, and contrasted it with what Mr. Newell and Mr. Jacobs had said, in a state of complete irresolution. He fought very hard to accept the Chairman's doctrine, but Mr. Jacobs

Jacobs. — Science of Folk-tales. loi

had settled that by applying the name of " Casualists" to the other side. He had not the advantage of being a Cambridge man, but he could not get over the doctrine of probabilities, which neither the Chairman nor Mr. Nutt had met. In order to get near closer quarters they ought to have a list of stories with a series of incidents — simple ones would not help them — and if they turned out to come in a certain sequence, then the doctrine of probabilities came in, and he did not see any escape from the consequences which Mr. Jacobs had been dilating upon.

Mr. TCHERAZ (Armenia) said, that being a native of Turkey, he felt some difficulty in expressing himself in English. He had made Eastern folk-lore a special study, having read all the books on the subject published in Armenian. As regards the question whether the East had borrowed from the West or the West from the East, which Mr. Jacobs had touched upon, and on which also the Chairman's remarks with reference to Sicilian folk- tales had some bearing, the meeting would perhaps like to hear the opinion of an Eastern person. The argument of the Western folk-lorists was this, that the fact of a few folk-tales having distinctive characters, induced them to think that the East must have borrowed these materials. This argument, how- ever, might, with an equal show of reason, be reversed, so that there could not be much in it. For instance, the argument about the folk- tale hero speaking to doors, as mentioned by Mr. Hartland in his paper, was also found in many Armenian tales, especially in the tale of Saint Sergius, where the door was not only spoken to, but actually listened to and obeyed the hero.

He regretted that this and many other folk-lore books, which were constantly published in Armenian, were absolutely unknown in Europe, and he strongly urged the Congress not to form any definite conclusion before they had heard all the witnesses in the case. Armenia was the oldest country in the world, according to Armenian tradition the Ark having been supported on top of the Mount Ararat, and the folk-lore of so old a country, he held, must be exceedingly interesting. During the eight winter months (there being neither spring nor autumn, and only four months of summer in Armenia) people spent their time telling folk-lore tales. Mr. Hartland had said this morning that it was time now to draw conclusions from the thousands of volumes they had ; but large though the number was, the Eastern part, such as Armenia, Persia, Turkey, Greece, and Russia, was not adequately represented, and, in his opinion, until the Eastern literature had been thoroughly studied, it was too early to form any conclusion.

Mr. Jacobs, in reply, would content himself with a single remark in answer to Mr. Nutt. The scientific value of the anthropological

I02 Folk-tale Section,

evidence obtained from folk-tales was, in his opinion, of a very secondary kind. No anthropologist could accept the evidence of folk-tales as proving the existence of a folk-custom wherever the tale was spread, and if we learnt it elsewhere, what was the use of the folk-tale evidence ?


Although what is known as folk-lore, or popular belief, has been regarded from various points of view, from which it has been studied by many very eminent students, the importance of that phase of it which may be described as " traditional history" does not appear to me to have yet received due recognition. For, of course, folk-lore, in one of its aspects, is history ; and, conversely, every account professing to be historical, but not written immediately after the occurrence of the events chronicled, is, in a measure, folk-lore. Such accounts as those of the Gaelic " seannachies", which have been transmitted from father to son for many generations, but only recently committed to paper, are both unquestionably folk-lore, and at the same time, though with less certainty, history. And the same may be said of many other professedly historical works.

Now, the important point is. How much of this "traditional history" is reliable ? How far does the popular memory go back, with precision ? That it may be trusted, within certain limits, is undeniable. For example, there may be men yet living in the neighbourhood of Waterloo who remember the great battle of 1815. Moreover, they may remember this or that detail of the fight that has never yet been placed on record. The right of such men to be regarded as actual historians, so long as they retain their faculties, cannot be disputed. What they relate is equally folk-lore and history. And the story related by them is also history, although it may be re-told by their sons or their grandsons. I have recently read of a Suffolk labourer who died in the year 1853, almost a centenarian, and who was once asked by the clergyman of his parish, " What is the earliest thing you can remember to have heard of?" "When I was a big bor," he answered, " I've heard my grandfather say he could remember the Dutch king comin' over." And, adds the narrator, by the register's

I04 Folk-tale Section.

showing, it was really quite possible. Now, had this man been asked anything about William of Orange, he would probably have professed entire ignorance of that personage. But, even although he had never opened a book in his life, he would have stoutly maintained that in or about the seventeenth century a certain king came over from Holland to ascend the British throne. Which was undoubtedly the case. Thus, what we know from books, he knew from tradition. Similarly, I have read of a peasant in Sussex, who, within the last few years, when in conversation with an archaeologist, referred to William the Conqueror as "Duke William" This term, we may be sure, he never learned in any school but that of tradition. Yet, by using this expression, he preserved the memory of an actual historical fact — the arrival in Sussex of " Duke "William of Normandy", not " William I of England". In both of these cases, then, tradition, or folk-lore, was history.

But in these two cases folk-lore has only preserved what was otherwise known by written chronicle. The latter substantiates the former. Yet, if the popular memory may be trusted so far, ought it not to be trusted farther? May tradition not have preserved some things, perhaps many things, that written history has overlooked ? One interesting piece of evidence in this direc- tion is supplied in my own experience.

Some years ago I was engaged in tracing the genealogy of a certain family, which I may call Family A. This family was socially of too little importance, during the past seven or eight generations, to find a place in even local history — that is to say, printed history. But it had retained, together with various family papers dating back to the year 1685, a certain family tradition, handed down from father to son. This was to the effect that the family was descended from an important clan, which I shall call B., and that the surname borne by Family A. had previously been that of the chiefs of the Clan B., from whom they believed ■ themselves descended. Owing, it was said, to some family feud, the ancestors of this minor family had relinquished their former surname, and assumed that of A., now borne by their descend- ants. Now, although the history of this important clan. Clan B., had recently been written by a gentleman very well qualified for the task, that history contained no reference to anyone of the

MacRitchie. — Historical Aspect of Folk-lore. 105

surname A., and the historian himself knew nothing whatever of even an alleged connection between that family and the Clan B. Yet, after an interesting correspondence with that gentleman, and after some research on his part and mine, we found that various entries in public records, some relating to transference of land, others to marriages, others to political events of two or three centuries ago, clearly showed that a certain branch, or sub-division, of the Clan B., during the seventeenth century, was accustomed to style itself by the name now borne by the Family A., alternatively with the recognised surname of the clan. In short, the historian of the Clan B. recognised, as beyond a doubt, that, whatever the exact date of the separation, this Family A. was really (what it believed itself to be) a branch of the Clan B., whose surname it had once borne. It is to be remembered that the Family A. possessed not a single written evidence of this ancient connec- tion ; and the historian of Clan B. was previously quite ignorant of such a connection. What brought the fact to light was the existence of an oral tradition, reaching back two centuries or more, which, when accepted as a guide, led to the discovery of this truth.

In this instance, then, we see that the memory — what I may call the inherited or transmitted memory — of a family may go back correctly two or three hundred years ; and not only, as in the case of the Suffolk peasant, agree with what has already been written down as "History", but, more than that, act as guide towards a " Supplementary History", which otherwise would never be written. And what applies to a family applies also, in this connection, to that larger family which constitutes a tribe or nation.

Two similar examples of the trustworthiness of tradition were recently cited by Sir Herbert Maxwell in his address inaugurating the last meeting of the Royal Archseological Institute : and these go much farther back than any of those I have mentioned. Sir Herbert referred in one instance to a cave on the Wigtownshire coast, which, ten years ago, apparently "differed in no respect from scores of others on the same rocky coast" " But local tradition had assigned to this particular cleft in the rocks the name of St. Ninian — St. Ninian's Cave. There was no evidence beyond tradition of religious occupation, but some local anti-

I06 Folk-tale Section.

quaries in 1883 determined to dear out this cave, and verify or confute the tradition if possible; and after much labour, and removal of several hundred tons of earth and fallen rock, they did find ample confirmation of the legends. No fewer than eighteen crosses, carved either upon the walls of the cave or on detached rocks, a pavement, apparently that of a religious cell, and various objects of great interest were found, showing that the tradition had had sufficient vitality to survive the fourteen centuries and a half which had intervened since its occupation by St. Ninian." Another tradition in the same county was to the effect that a certain loch — Dowalton Loch — contained in its depths an ancient village. The loch was drained in the year 1862, though not for archaeological reasons ; and the old tradition was verified by the appearance of the remains of an ancient settlement of the lake- dwellers.

In the last three instances, then, tradition appears, not as the mere henchman of history, but as the actual leader. Had the statements of the AVigtownshire countryfolk been listened to with respect a century ago, our grandfathers would have increased the sum of their knowledge by the addition of at least two facts. And the situation has its parallel at the present day. Folk-lore, as a popular inheritance, is perishing fast ; but there is, I believe, much veritable history yet to be gleaned from it. One cannot, of course, accept all its statements hterally ; but, because this or that traditional account appears at the first glance incredible, it does not follow that there is no actual germ of truth concealed in it. For example, when one hears some wild story of a dreaded giant or ogre living in a castle surrounded with walls of glass, one knows that, according to modern speech, such a castle could not have existed. But it seems to me that the real explanation of such a statement is indicated by Lady Ferguson, when speaking of the "Fomorians of Irish tradition and "their famous glass castle upon Tor Inis, or Tory Island", off the north coast of Ire- land. This glass castle, she suggests, "may possibly have been a vitrified fort.^ And this, it appears to me, is the simple solution of the difficulty. Whether Tory Island does contain a vitrified fort, I do not know, but as there are many in the neighbouring district of Galloway, and in Western, Northern, and

^ The Story of the Irish before the ConqueU, London, 1868, p. 3.

MacRitchie. — Historical Aspect of Folk-lore. 107

Central Scotland, it is quite likely that one or more may be found in that island. And all these vitrified forts are so many " glass castles". Not " glass as we now conventionally under- stand the word, but glass in its cruder form. Thus, the fairy tales which tell of kings or giants dwelling in castles surrounded by walls of glass may be historically true, in so far as concerns the materials of the castle walls. Of course, when a tale has out- lived by many centuries the circumstances in which it originated, the truth which it embodies may become gradually enshrouded with error. And in such a case as this one can see how the tale, long surviving the use of vitrified castles — whose very exist- ence became forgotten — would by degrees take on the appear- ance of impossibility. The walls of an impregnable castle could never have been formed of glass, as that word is understood by modern people ; and, owing to this misinterpretation of a word, the modern reciter of the tale and the modern artist, yielding to their own imagination, conspire to render the whole story utterly incredible, as they believe it to be.

Now this solution of the "glass castle" of tradition — which I, at least, am ready to recognise as not only quite reasonable but also probably correct — represents a method which is capable of wide application. That these traditions of the common people are baseless nonsense I do not believe. Sir Walter Scott, by the mouth of his Mrs. Bethune Baliol, makes a remark in this connection which is well worth considering, although it cannot be held to have any direct application to any serious student of folk-lore. "I pro- fess to you," says Mrs. Baliol, in response to the arguments urged by her kinsman in support of the authenticity of tradition, "I pro- fess to you that I am very willing to be converted to your faith. We talk of a credulous vulgar, without always recollecting that there is a vulgar incredulity, which, in historical matters, as well as in those of religion, finds it easier to doubt than to examine, and endeavours to assume the credit of an esprit fort by denying whatever happens to be a little beyond the very limited compre- hension of the sceptic." Thus (to apply Mrs. Baliol's dictum to the case just cited), a man of this kind, ignorant of the existence of vitrified forts, will at once dismiss the "glass castles" of tradition as utter nonsense. Whereas a student of tradition, such as Lady Ferguson, will endeavour to find — as in this instance she has

io8 Folk-tale Section.

succeeded, I believe, in finding — a reasonable and plausible ex- planation of the statement, thereby reducing apparent nonsense to actual sense.

A sceptic of another order, however, equally incredulous but less impatient, will explain the whole dififiiculty by assuming that the "glass castle" — to pursue this illustration — is the creation of the popular fancy. Now, although I hold no settled opinion on this subject, I am strongly inclined to doubt whether the uncul- tivated mind is more poetical and imaginative than the cultivated. The play of fancy seems to me much more the outcome of culture than of ignorance; and the imaginative faculty stronger in the gentleman than in the peasant. Unquestionably the lower class is swayed by deep-rooted feelings and beliefs which it cannot explain ; but are these not the shadows of what was once substan- tial ? AVhen the Saracen rider used to ask his startled horse, " If he thought King Richard was hiding behind that bush?" or when the Scottish peasant woman frightened her child into obedience with threats of " the Black Douglas", there was, it is true, no real cause for terror in either case, except during the brief lifetime of Richard and Douglas. But Richard and Douglas were not creations of the popular fancy, although the dread of them eventually became a popular imagination.

This last illustration brings me to what I regard as the most interesting phase of this question — the popular recollections of real people, continuing long after those people ceased to exist. Nor is this theme rendered less interesting by the consideration that the features of such people may have become distorted and indistinct through lapse of time; until, like the "glass castles", they may seem, at the first glance, impossibilities or myths. But for their peculiarities, also, a reasonable explanation may be attainable. What folk-lore says of such real, or hypothetically real, people may require much sifting before the grain can be separated from the chaff The popular memory is far from perfect, and real events and real people are not always faithfully remembered by ignorant castes or nations. For example, we know that Columbus and his contemporaries appeared to the natives of the West Indies as supernatural beings, armed with strange power, and borne thither from the sky, or out of the ocean, in their white-winged vessels. Had this intercourse been only temporary, and America not again visited by Europeans until the present century, we should probably

MacRitchie. — Historical A spect of Folk-lore. 109

find the record of those visits and visitors of four centuries ago still preserved in what some would call the "mythology" of the West Indians. Yet we should know that such visits were actual historical events, and that the visitors were ordinary human beings, whose alleged "supernatural" qualities are wholly explainable in the light of our superior knowledge. But it is certain that, if the European records of those visits had accidentally been lost, and if we had long ago forgotten that such visits ever were made, many modern investigators of West Indian folk-lore would at once pronounce those tales of "supernatural" beings to be nothing but the creation of West Indian fancy.

There is, of course, nothing new in the belief that the so-called " mythology" of nations is simply their ancient traditional history more or less distorted. This theory, originated by Euhemerus fifteen centuries ago, has had many exponents; although it is not so much in vogue at the present day as it has been in former times. But, for my own part, I am not concerned in demonstrating that all mythology is nothing but traditional history. Whether so sweeping an assertion can or can not be defended is not the ques- tion which interests me primarily. What appears to me the most important view of folk-lore is this : That the first and most natural theme for the tales and traditions of unlettered castes or races is the recital of actual events in their own past, and that therefore no assertion made by tradition ought to be classified as fiction until it is clearly shown that it cannot possibly be grounded on fact. My own impression is that a vast amount of what many people regard as fiction is essentially fact; and, further, that a critical study of many so-called myths will eventually throw a great light upon history. Some of my views in this direction I have recently embodied in a published work, which is known to some gentle- men present — The Testimony of Tradition. I shall not further encroach upon the time of this meeting by any detailed reference to that work, but will merely explain that it deals specially with those traditions referring to the past existence of a race, or races, of dwarfs in Europe; the general correctness of which traditions is best demonstrated by the still-existing chambered mounds and underground chambers ascribed to those people; it being evident that such of those structures as have incontrovertibly been used as dwellings could not, by reason of their dimensions, have been inhabited by any but people of dwarfish size.

no Folk-tale Section.


Professor A. C. Haddon said, in the course of his studies during the last one or two years he had come to the conclusion that savages never invented, but always copied patterns and designs. In collecting mate- rial in a district they would be able to hunt down any pattern or name to its origin (except a zig-zag line which could not be traced), as being originally a representation of some natural object. Therefore, in savage folk-lore, they must in the first place look for some natural original, and only in the second place to fancy. .Seeing that they had to deal with a complex matter, he rather reckoned himself on the side of the anthropologists.

Professor JOHN RHYS said that he agreed with everything that Mr. MacRitchie had said. He had just lately published something on the same lines, and there come to the conclusion with regard to fairy tales that the materials certainly come from two sources — perhaps compara- tively few from the mere storehouse of imagination, and a good deal more from reflecting the traditions of some ancient race. With regard to dwarfs, the subject was very interesting, and he would like to hear more about it.

Mr. .Stuart-Glennie did not think that people imagined things without having a certain basis for their ideas, either in their own expe- rience or that of others. Then exaggeration stepped in, just as in the case of a little boy who, having seen a large brown dog, ran home to tell his mother that he had seen a bear. He believed that fairy tales had originated on the same principle, and he therefore thoroughly agreed with the theory propounded in Mr. MacRitchie's paper.

Miss H. Dempster asked whether she might take the liberty of disagreeing with Mr. MacRitchie's paper. She had spent a great many years in the northern provinces of Sutherlandshire, to collect the native tales for a friend. She had found it a futile task to look for any his- torical basis for the stories she had found; there was a deeper, nobler, and greater foundation for them than anything we could dignify by the name of history. She thought those stories to -be true. There was certainly a true foundation for them. One was a very wonderful story of a great chief, who, getting into a cave, met the devil in the shape of a yellow dog whom he drove into a cask. But the devil escaped by the bung-hole. He sometimes did now. Upon further investigation she had found that these things were attributed to a certain, keen, grasping, clever Highlander of the hard-headed type, not of the sympathetic type. Patriotic man that he was, he had given his allegiance to William of Orange, for whom he raised a regiment, and who conferred

MacRitchie. — Historical Aspect of Folk-lore. 1 1 1

great honours upon him, and gave him his title. Now, Miss Dempster asked, was the historical element the peg to hang these wild legends on ? All these stories, she contended, were much older ; they had some far distant root. According to the German saying, " es liegt ein tieferSinn ini kind'schen Spiel"; did they not think it possible that there was a higher ground even than history for these stories, that their real root was in the human emotions, in the love of wonder, in the fear of deliverance, in the necessity of the human creature to ally himself with the divine ? There had been an allusion to Cupid. That underlied the history of the relation of the sexes, the perpetual mystery. He always came to us as a tree, or a lizard, or something wonderful. Those emotions seemed to her to betray the wish to believe that we are in some way strange beings, and closely related to the beast, the tree, the flower, and the powers of nature. People would always wish to be delivered ; they had their hope everywhere, and that would last until there was no more sea.

Mr. Oswald thought that Mr. Stuart-Glennie's illustration of the child's notion of the dog and the bear was a capital mistake: a child knowing a dog, but not knowing a bear, being more apt to exclaim that it had seen a big brown dog when really seeing a bear, than vice versd. To this Mr. Glennie retorted that the child knew the bear from the picture-books, and that the child's mind being predisposed to exag- gerate, he must maintain that his illustration held perfectly good. The incident he had described had actually happened with his own dog.

Mr. GOMME was in doubt whether the historical people to which Mr. MacRitchie had drawn attention were the historical people of fifty or a hundred years ago, or the historical people which we called primitive. He had noticed in the book to which the lecturer had referred, that he started with the consideration of the historical people of fifty or a hundred years ago, and then gradually went back to the prehistoric houses, and one was at a loss to know whether he based his arguments on the aboriginal people or on the people of a hundred years ago. If enlightened on this point, they would be better able to test the theory before them on something like scientific ground. He agreed with the theory when applied to the conditions of the prehistoric race, but he found himself stopped when he applied the same argument to the people of only a century ago.

The Rev. W. S. Lach-Szyrma said, in his studies of folk-lore he had noticed that scenes of horror dwelt more upon the mind than scenes of joy. He had tried to get some traditions of the battle of Sedgemoor in Somerset, and he found them to be very different from those chronicled by history. A child would remember certain things which seemed unimportant to a grown-up person, and thus the child's

112 Folk-tale Section.

mind of the peasant would remember, and hand down in tradition, things which were not recorded in history.

Mr. Hugh Nevill wished to explain that the behef that people in Ceylon lived in hollow trees had absolutely no foundation. The Ceylonese word for their habitations really meant " rock cave", and from the fact that the word had been translated into " hollow tree", some of our English historians had said that the Ceylonese lived in trees. Seeing that such a mistake had occurred, the idea suggested itself whether such a thing might not also have happened in folk-lore, and that, for instance, the word " glass tower" had perhaps never had the meaning which we now associated with it.


The present paper brings no new facts, and essays no new interpretation of familiar facts. It simply aims at setting forth clearly, briefly, and comprehensively the chief problems of heroic legend, and at suggesting in what way they may best be solved. These problems are : in how far heroic legend is indebted to historic fact ; in what manner does it transform historic fact to its own needs ; what is the nature of the portion which owes nothing to history and which we call mythic ; does this portion picture forth man's memory of the past or embody his ancient imaginings of the material universe ; is the marked similarity which obtains between the great heroic cycles due to a common conception of life, to descent from a common original, or to borrowing from one another ?i

A brief survey of some of the more important Teutonic and Celtic hero-legends may throw some light upon the first of these questions. I have recently reviewed the foremost of the Teutonic sagas, the story of Siegfried and the Nibelungs, when noticing M. Lichtenberger's work upon the cycle (Folk-Lore, ii, 3). It will suffice to say here that the first of the two portions into which this saga naturally divides itself, the portion dealing with the youth of Siegfried, is mythic, i.e., to repeat my definition, necessarily non-historic. It is necessarily non-historic as relating

^ By history I understand the record of what has actually happened to a man or to a group of men ; by legend, an invented story, possibly but not necessarily non- historic ; by myth, an invented story necessarily non-historic and symbolising a natural or a historic process, in the latter case I use the term historic myth. The actors in a myth are generally gods or heroes. Gods differ from man or other animals chiefly in being the object of a cult and in the predicate of deathlessness ; heroes differ from man or other animals by the intensification of ordinary human or animal powers. The relations between gods and heroes are very close, and it is not always easy to establish a theoretical distinction between the two, but in practice the two classes are always clearly distinguished and no confusion arises.


114 Folk-tale Section.

occurrences which never happened because they never could happen. This is the characteristic of myth, its contents are not only invented, they are as a rule invented outside any possible limit of human experience. The second portion of the saga — the story of the doom wrought by the heroine upon her husband, slayer of her brethren (the older form), or upon her brethren, slayers of her first husband (the younger form) — is in so far historic that the names of certain personages manifestly coincide with the names of certain historic personages. Thus the Gibich, Gunther, Giselher, and Gemot of the saga manifestly correspond to the his- torical Burgundian kings, Gibica, Gundahar, Gondomar, Gislahar ; the Atli (older form), Etzel (younger form) of the saga manifestly correspond to the historical Attila ; the Kriemhild of the legend possibly corresponds to the historical Ildico that

•' leaf on Danube rolled" ;

the slaughter of the Burgundians at Atli's Court may possibly cor- respond to the extermination of Gundahar by the Huns in 436. It has been urged that this second portion has its origin in legendary accounts of these personages and events. But granting, for argument's sake, all these parallels, we nevertheless note that the historic march of events is utterly different from the saga march of events. The historic Attila had no hand in the destruction of the historic Gunther ; the historic Ildico, if she had any hand in the death of Attila — and this is in the last degree uncertain — had nothing whatever to do with the Burgundian chiefs, slain when she was a babe, perhaps even before her birth. If the second por- tion of the Siegfried-Nibelung story started with the destruction of Gundicarius in 436, with the death of Attila in 450, we have yet to explain why these events were utterly transformed, and, in especial, why they were fused into one with the Siegfried myth. The answers to the first question are mostly conditioned by theories of historical myth which cannot be said to be established. As for the second question, no answer has ever been given that satisfies even a small minority of those capable of judging.

Similar problems confront us in the saga of Dietrich of Bern. The name manifestly corresponds to that of the great Ostrogoth Theodoric of Verona ; the name of his father Dietmar to that of Theodoric's father Theudemir. Theodoric, like Dietrich, " was for some years of his life a wanderer more or less dependent upon the

NUTT. — Problems of Heroic Legend. 1 1 S

favour of a powerful sovereign — his life during this period did get entangled with that of another Theodoric, even as the life of the hero of the saga becomes entangled with the life of Theodoric of Russia. After subduing all his enemies he did eventually rule in Rome."i Moreover, the Otakar of the Hildebrandlied, the oldest fragment, palseographically speaking, of the Dietrich saga, or indeed of any portion of Teutonic hero-legend, is obviously the Odoacer of history, and the Witig of the saga seems to answer the historical Witigis. But ... the legendary Dietrich is associated with Hermanrich who died eighty years, with Attila who died two years before the birth of the historical Theodoric ; it is the exile-period of Dietrich's life, the least fruitful in events of historic importance, which furnishes the staple of the saga ; then there is the barest trace in the legend of the mighty fabric of the Roman Empire against which Theodoric warred at first, and which it was the task of his years of manhood to uphold and transform. If indeed the saga- hero started his career in confused memories of the deeds of the historic king, he promptly renounced all that was historic in his origin save the most unimportant details.

Had we the saga alone we should know worse than nothing, we should have an absolutely false idea of the strivings and con- dition of the Gothic race in the late fifth and early sixth centuries. One historic truth, and one only, has the saga preserved. Dietrich of Bern is the right-hand of Attila so long as he stays with the Hunnish chief; the Gothic under-kings were at once the brain and the right arm of the Scourge of God. The saga, which sub- ordinates the Hunnish element (Attila) to the Gothic (Dietrich), sums up in mythic form the story of the relations between the great Hun (whose very name is Gothic) and his Gothic subjects. But these relations, it will be observed, are pre-Theodorician. The saga in this one particular expresses the spirit of history, but only by disregarding its letter. For the rest, the various explanations of the Dietrich saga all start with certain assumptions concerning the historical mythopoeic process, assumptions which may be true, but which require to be proved from the sagas themselves. Thus the conquest of Italy by Theodoric is held to be symbolised by Dietrich's reconquest of the paternal kingdom, from which he had been expelled by his uncle. The later saga writers, it is urged,

1 Hodgkin, Theodoric the Goth.

I 2

ii6 Folk-tale Section.

familiar witli the long Gothic dominion in Italy, could not imagine a time in which that dominion had not subsisted, and hence could not think of Theodoric's conquest otherwise than as a reconquest. To this it may be objected, firstly, that it is strange to find the later saga writers ignoring the tragic downfall of the Ostrogothic empire, with its wealth of striking incident^ ; secondly, that the formula of the expelled nephew, or son, or grandson, occurs in numerous other heroic legends which are not susceptible of the same interpretation as the Dietrich saga. The " symbol" postulated in the one case must either have a different signifi- cation in other cases, a fact which certainly does not inspire con- fidence in the system of interpretation, or else its presence in different legends must be due to borrowing by the one from the others. This explanation will not serve, however, in the present instance, as several of the heroic legends which present sub- stantially the same formula as the Dietrich saga are much older than it, so that if there has been borrowing it is the Dietrich saga which has borrowed. But this comes to saying that Dietrich the hero does certain things, because heroes generally do these things, and not because the historical Theodoric did certain things which were translated by the songmen of his race into the formula we find in the saga.

Let us turn to Celtic saga. The oldest of the Celtic heroic cycles which have been preserved to us is that of which Conchobor, chief of Ulster, and Cuchulainn, champion of Ulster, are the leading personages. It is the oldest, both by the alleged date of these personages and by the date of the stories themselves ; these we can follow back with reasonable certainty to the fifth century of our era. Now it is possible that an Ulster chief named Conchobor, that an Ulster brave named Cuchulainn, did live at a period corresponding to the beginning of the Christian era. It is, moreover, certain that if they lived Conchobor lusted after his neighbour's land and cattle and women, and did his best to gratify his lusts ; certain that Cuchulainn did his best to break the head of any Irish brave who was not, like him, a man of

1 W. Miiller, Mythologie der deutschen Heldenessage, holds, it is true, that this downfall is expressed in the saga by Dietrich's expulsion, but I cannot profess to take this explanation seriously. Professor Miiller's speculations are entertaining and suggestive, but I can only agree with Sijmons when {Paul's Grundiiss, ii, 3) he describes the book "als Ganzes seiner Methode nach als verfehlt".

NUTT. — Problems of Heroic Legend. 117

Conchobor's. It is again certain that at the period mentioned every Irish chief of note was perpetually fighting with every other Irish chieftain, because that is the normal condition of the country from the earliest dawn of authentic history down to the time when peace was enforced by the strong hand of the foreigner. In so far, then, as the Ultonian saga is concerned, as it partly is, with the lusts of Conchobor, with the feats of Cuchulainn, with the broils of Ulster and Connaught, or Ulster and Munster, with cattle-raids and blood-feuds, it may be historic, indeed it is historic in this sense, that it probably gives a faithful picture of the social and political state of Ireland in the early centuries of our era. But to assert that it is historic in the sense that it proves the existence of Conchobor and of Cuchulainn, is, to my mind, to assert more than the evidence warrants, although I frankly admit that my caution is not shared by the most eminent Celtic scholars. In any case we have merely considered up to now one portion of the saga. There is another portion, the nature of which is best exemplified by stating some facts concern- ing Cuchulainn as we gather them from the oldest texts. He is a reincarnation of the god Lug, conceived by his mother as a virgin through the swallowing of an insect in water ; at the age of five he overcomes all the Ultonian youths at their games in the playing- fields ; at seven he sets out alone on the warpath, and returns laden with trophies ; when the battle fury is upon him he becomes distorted, so that his calves twist round to where his shins should be, his size becomes gigantic, and a spark of fire stands on every hair ; single-handed he holds all the warriors of Erin at bay, whilst the Ulster men are en couvade , he is beloved of a queen of Faery, in bird-shape, with whom he passes a year, and from whom he is separated by the direct intervention of Manannan nac Lir, the Celtic sea-god ; he fights with and over- comes the Irish war goddess, the Morrigu or great Queen.

Now this portion of the saga — and I might go on quoting pages of similar instances — is manifestly mythic. Assuming for argu- ment's sake that Cuchulainn was a real and famous North Irish warrior of the first century, the interesting question is, why did the men of the seventh century at the latest (how much earlier the stories may be we cannot say) tell myths about him ?

The cycle of Finn and Oisin is younger than that of Cuchulainn

Ii8 Folk-tale Section.

and Conchobor, both if we consider the alleged date of the personages, the third century of our era, and the date to which we can trace back with certainty the oldest stories concerning them, i.e., the ninth century. The alleged date of existence has recently been contested by Professor Zimmer,^ who would place Finn in the early ninth century. I do not think the hypothesis will hold water, but in any case it is perfectly indifferent to the student of the Fenian saga whether the real Finn, assuming for argument's sake that such a man existed, lived in the third or in the ninth century. All the historic fact that we can gather from the saga is that he lived, fought, and had love-adventures. We hardly require thousands of pages of romantic stories to assure us that this was so in the case of any Irishman, or indeed of any man worthy of being celebrated as a hero, whether he lived in the third or in the ninth century. What the staple of the saga is I can best describe in words written ten years ago {Folk-lore Record, vol. iv), " What does the legend know of Fionn : it knows about a youth who was brought up by a wise and powerful woman, who acquired knowledge of past and present by eating a magic salmon, who was fore-ordained to do vengeance upon his father's slayers, the centre afterwards of a circle of warriors, many stronger and more valorous than he, wise and cunning, grievously wronged by his sister's son, whom he pursues with unrelenting hatred, never dying, but found, from century to century, repelling an imaginary and unhistorical invader." Now much of this is manifestly mythic, i.e., necessarily non-historic, most of it is pro- bably mythic.

In one sense, however, the Fenian saga may be said to be essentially historic. It deals largely with the resistance of Irish- men to over-sea raiders. Now for 150 years there was strife in Ireland between the invading Norse and Danish Vikings and the native Irish. The Fenian texts give in a legendary form a picture of historic fact.^ But it will be found, I believe, that this element is due to the final redaction of our texts at a period when the

' I have summarised Prof. Zimmer's arguments in the Introduction to vol. iv of Waifs and Strays of Celtic Tradition.

^ This is equally true whether or no Professor Rhys' theory be correct, that the antagonism betvveen the Irish and Norse (Lochlannaich) takes the place of an older mythic antagonism between the denizens pf this world and of the other- world, conceived of a land under the waves.

NuTT. — Problems of Heroic Legend. 119

Irish imagination was still quivering and bleeding from the Viking raids, rather than to the fact, as urged by Professor Zimmer, that the chief personage of the saga was himself prominent in the con- flict. If this is so, it exemplifies a law which must always be borne in mind when studying heroic legend : the history which in- fluences it is the history of the period in which it assumes final shape, not the history of the period at which it is supposed to originate.

This law has recently been illustrated with his wonted acute- ness and ingenuity in Professor Zimmer's masterly investigations upon the third great Celtic heroic cycle, that of Arthur. ^ In this case there is an undeniable historic substratum. I see no reason to doubt the existence of a Romanised British chieftain, who, at the end of the fifth and during the first third of the sixth century, held the Saxon invaders at bay. The problems connected with this historic Arthur are of the utmost complexity and perplexity. But they affect to a most inappreciable extent the real Arthur, the Arthur, that is, of romance, the Arthur who owes his birth to wizardry and shape-shifting, who is reared heedless of his descent and fate, who withdraws the sword from the stone, to whom the ladies of the lake present Excalibur, who begets his destined slayer unwittingly on his own sister, who warred with the Palug cat, who harried Annvwn, who hunted the boar Trwyth, whom after death the ladies of the lake carry to Avalon. Whether the date of the Mount Badon battle be 493 or 516, whether the historic Arthur warred mainly in the north or in the south of these islands, all this is profoundly indifferent to the real Arthur, the king in the land of Faery, the Arthur of the Celtic storytellers, of the French minstrels, of Malory and of English poetry for the last four hundred years. But, as Professor Zimmer has convinc- ingly shown, it is not indifferent to the Arthurian romance, as we now have it, that certain wars took place between Bretons and Normans in the ninth and tenth centuries, or that the Normans invaded England, establishing a new order of things, the influence of which was as potent upon the Celtic as upon the English inhabitants of this island.

In all these cases heroic legend and history are not so much

1 Allusion is here made to Professor Zimmer's papers: Gottingischt gel. Anzeigen, 1890, Oct. i ; Zeitschrift fiir franz. Sprache vnd Littratur, xii, J snd his article in vpl, xiii of the same periodical,

I20 Folk-tale Section.

opposed as disconnected. Had we heroic ■ legend alone, we should know worse than nothing of history, we could only guess at false history. History may seem to give the form and frarne- work of heroic legend, the vital plastic organic element is fur- nished by something quite different. Myth, like a hermit-crab, may creep into the shell of history, none the less does it retain its own nature.

Moreover, in all these instances the reference to history facili- tates to a very slight extent the criticism and interpretation of the legends themselves, as apart from the question of their origin. It remains indifferent whether Etzel grew out of Attila, whether the real Arthur of romance grew out of the shadowy Arthur of history. In neither case does the fact explain the essence, in neither case does it account for the development of the story.

In one case, however, I think that an historic basis has been formed for a legend, a basis which provides and accounts for its subsequent growth. But then the legend in question can hardly be properly called an heroic legend. I allude to the story of Tristan and Iseult. Professor Zimmer, whom I must quote at every step, and always with fresh admiration for his marvellous ingenuity and his amazing erudition, has recently challenged the traditional interpretation of this story.' As is well known, the personages are commonly ascribed to South-Western England and to the fifth and sixth centuries. But Professor Zimmer would assign them to the ninth century and to North-Eastern Scotland. His Tristan is a Pictish warrior, striving against the invading Danish Vikings from Dublin. The evidence in support of this theory may be briefly stated thus : The name Tristan is undoubtedly Pictish, and is not known to occur in Southern Britain before the eleventh century ; the names of Tristan's adversaries, and of the Irish princess he woos for his uncle and loves for himself, are Norse and not Irish ; it is certain that the Dublin Danes did harry Pictland, lay it under tribute, and carry away hostages from it in the ninth century ; it is not known, and it is unlikely that such conditions obtained between Ireland and Cornwall in the fifth century. I would add that there are obvious, too obvious resemblances between the Tristan story as we have it and the Greek hero-legend of Theseus. If the former was shaped in the ' In the above-cited article, Z. f, franz. Lit., xiii.

NuTT. — Problems of Heroic Legend. i

fifth and sixth centuries, and had a long traditional existence be- hind it when it came into the hands of the eleventh-century roman- cers, it seems unlikely that it could have been seriously modified ; but if it was a comparatively recent story, without the sanction of long age or of national association (and for the South-Briton Pictland was a remote country), one can understand that the marked similarity in the positions of Tristan and Theseus should lead a storyteller acquainted with classic fable to amplify and modify the one story in accordance with the other.

Here, then, the historic reference throws light both upon the origin and upon the after-growth of the story. But here also we note that the story lives on divorced from its historic basis, that it straightway assimilates a number of legendary incidents which are in all probability of mythical origin, that this ex hypothesi genuine historic legend owes its existence to the fact that it trans- forms its historic and subordinates them to non-historic elements.

Moreover, it is doubtful if the story of Tristan can be placed in the same category as the stories of Arthur, of Finn, of Cuchulainn or of Siegfried. We can by no means feel sure that he was believed in in the same sense that they were. To our nineteenth-century conceptions it would seem that belief should be strongest in the hero whose feats transcend least the limits of human achieve- ments. But it is an open question whether among the races which shaped the great heroic cycles it was not precisely the im- possible elements which won credence, whether a hero could be considered such unless he was more than man, whether the vitality of an heroic legend is not directly proportionate to the more or less of myth which it contains. Thus it comes that the Tristan story, which is about the most historical of those we have examined, is also the least heroic, and that its survival is probably due, firstly, to its being remoulded upon the lines of a genuine hero-legend, the story of Theseus ; secondly, to its having been incorporated (in flat defiance of history) into a genuine hero-legend, the story of Arthur.^

^ In this paragraph the correctness of Professor Zimmer's theory is assumed. I may say that I believe it to be true in the main, although I cannot accept every detail of his explanations. Of course, if the theory is not true, if the traditional explanation is the correct one, the story is as good an exemplification of my general view of heroic legend as could be desired. I have preferred, however, to assume

122 Folk-tale Section.

Thus heroic legend contains many incidents that cannot pos- sibly have their origin in history. Let us examine a couple of these incidents, chosen because they figure in most of the stories we have been examining, and see if light is thereby thrown upon the nature and origin of these mythical elements. These two in- cidents are : (a) The miraculous birth of the hero; (^) the combat of father and son.

The Miraculous Birth of the Hero.

This occurs in the Cuchulainn cycle, where, as already stated, that hero is a rebirth of the god Lug, who, as an insect in a draught of water, impregnates his mother; in the Arthur cycle, where Arthur himself owes his birth to his father's change of shape, effected by Merlin; where Merlin isthesonof an zW^fe^r, and where theconcep- tion of Taliesin is effected much as that of Cuchulainn — i.e., by his mother's swallowing his father Gwion in the shape of a grain ; in the Finn cycle, where Oisin is born whilst his mother is in doe shape ; in the Nibelung cycle, where Signy, the grandmother of Siegfried, changes shape, and, thanks to the change, is enabled to bear Sinfjotli to her own brother Siegmund, and where Hogni's birth occurs in much the same wise as Merlin's, his mother being visited by an elf in her sleep. There seems also to be an indica- tion of the incident in Hogni's taunt to Dietrich that he is a devil's son. Moreover, we may note that in these cycles very similar stories are told about the birth and youth of Finn and Siegfried, both being posthumous children, and reared in ignorance of their origin. 1

The Cuchulainn story is certainly older than the redaction of Gaelic sagas preserved in the Leabhar na K Uidhre, a MS. copied at the end of the eleventh century, the redaction itself being assigned with strong plausibility by Professor Zimmer to Flann Manistrech, the leading Irish antiquary of the early eleventh century. A characteristic feature of the redaction is that Flann (or whoever the author was) endeavoured to harmonise in it conflicting accounts respecting the Gaelic gods and heroes. This feature is

the correctness of the theory most opposed to the general view. It is always wise to state the arguments against oneself as strongly as possible.

' I have studied these in my paper, " The Expulsion and Return Fornmla among the Ce'ts", Folk-lore Record, vol, iv,

NUTT. — Problems of Heroic Legend. 123

prominent in the L U. version of Cuchulainn's conception ; it so happens that one of the versions which Flann must have used has been preserved to us by a later (fourteenth century) MS.

If we put aside the chance remark of Nennius as to the low birth of Arthur, we cannot carry the latter's birth-story back beyond the late eleventh century, it being vouched for by Geoffrey of Monmouth in the early twelfth century. The birth-story told in Geoffrey of Merlin, is told in Nennius, i.e. goes back to the ninth century, of Ambrosius. The birth- story of Taliesin is first told in connected form in a MS. of the late sixteenth century, but there are allusions to it in Welsh poems of uncertain date found in .the fourteenth and fifteenth century MSS., the Book of Taliesin and the Red Book of Hergest.

There, is I believe, no older MS. authority for the Oisin birth- story than the fourteenth century.

The birth story of Sinfjotli is first found in the twelfth century Volsungasaga, that of Hagen in the thirteenth century Thidreks- saga, which also preserves the hint of a possible supernatural birth of Dietrich, noted above.

The story of Finn's birth and youth is certainly older than the eleventh century, as it is found in Z ZZ ; that of Siegfried is partly told in the Eddaic ballads, partly in the Volsungasaga based upon these, partly in the thirteenth-century High-German Siegfriedslied. The date of the Eddaic ballads in their present form is almost certainly prior to the eleventh and posterior to the eighth century.

Now is the likeness between all the stories due to the presence in them of common mythical elements, common, because the races which evolved these legends were akin in blood, culture, and creed, or is it due to borrowing by one race from the other ?

Questions of date are in such investigations of first-rate impor- tance. If the stories only appear among races at a period long subsequent to the time when the hypothetical mythical elements contained in them ceased to predominately influence the culture of the race, and if we are not warranted in carrying the stories back much beyond the date of appearance, then we must admit that they were told chiefly for entertainment, and without reference to the historic past or to the traditional creed of the race. In this case the spread of the story from one race to another, rather than the hypothesis of independent composition, seems the readiest and

124 Folk-tale Section.

soundest way of accounting for the likeness. Again, if the story first appears among one race in the tenth and among another in the twelfth century, and unless in the latter case its earlier existence is a matter of fair certainty though not susceptible of actual proof, it seems more reasonable to assume that, if borrow- ing has taken place, the second race has borrowed rather than the first.

Let us apply these principles to the present case. Amongst other points upon which Professor Zimmer relied to prove influence of Teutonic upon Celtic heroic legend is the very incident we have been considering {Kelt. Beitrdge, i, 316 et ff.). For him it is evident that the Cuchulainn birth story is more or less modelled upon that of Hagen, and hence cannot be used as an illustration of Celtic mythic belief or fancy. Palaeographically speaking, the story of Cuchulainn's birth is 150 years older than that of Hagen, and it can be carried back in its present form another 100 years. Now the Hagen story belongs to the second stratum of the Nibelung legend, the texts of which may have assumed their present shape somewhere in the ninth century. But only one of the texts of the second stratum (the Thidrekssaga), and that the latest, the most artificial, the most interpolated, relates this story; the other texts (the Niebelungenlied, the Siegfriedslied, etc.), whilst containing nothing which directly contradicts, con- tain nothing which directly confirms it. The texts of the first stratum of the Nibelung legend, on the contrary, directly contra- dict it in several important respects. It seems to me that, by every rule of sound criticism, if borrowing be postulated at all, we should start, provisionally at least, with the hypothesis that the Celts were the lenders and not the borrowers. This contention is strengthened by an examination of the manner in which the stories have come down to us. The Thidrekssaga is a highly artificial and artistic harmony of romantic traditions. The com- piler admitted stories which are obviously of different date and provenance ; he was a man of the thirteenth, or at latest twelfth century, and was evidently accessible to the literary influences of the day. How stands it with the Cuchulainn story ? this, as we have seen, dates back certainly before the eleventh century in its present form, but that form is itself a confused jumble of jarring and misunderstood traditions. By collating the three existing

NUTT. — Problems of Heroic Legend. 125

versions we can fairly recover the mythic form of Cuchulainn's birth, that which gave him for father Lug, the Celtic Mercury. Which is the more likely? That the Irish scribe of the early eleventh century tried to harmonise conflicting old traditions about the great national hero, with the almost inevitable result of obscuring their pristine mythical character, or that he, a Christian monk and scholar, having heard somewhere a tale about the elf descent of Hagen, invented in imitation of it (for this is the hypothesis), a tale which made Cuchulainn the son of a god, but invented so badly that it is only by careful comparison of three independent versions that one can make out what he is driving at.i

What relation does the incident bear to the mythic belief and fancies of the two races as we know them from other sources. As regards the Cuchulainn birth-story, it is in perfect accord with all we know of Celtic religious doctrine and of Celtic mythic fancy. On the one hand classical writers insist upon the transmigration of souls doctrine held by the Druids ; on the other, the incidents connected with Cuchulainn's birth are almost a commonplace in Irish mythic legend. They occur in the birth story of Aed Slane, as told by Flann Manistrech (/.«., a pre-eleventh-century story — Aed Slane is a sixth-century Irish king), and translated by Professor Windisch (Berichte der phil.-hist. Classe der Kg. Sachs. Gesell- schaft der Wtss., 1884), and in that of Conchobor (text and trans- lation by Professor Kuno Meyer, /?ev. Celt., ii, 175 etseq.), whilst the idea of re-birth is a prominent feature in the stories of Mongan-Finn, and of Etain.^ The most curious instance, however, with which I am acquainted, and one which has the greatest interest for folk-lorists, is that preserved in the story entitled " De Cophur in da Muccida", " The Engendering of the Two Swineherds", one of the remsdla or introductions to the Tain bb Cuailgne.^ This relates how Fruich, swineherd of the fairy king Bodb, and Rucht, swineherd of Ochall Ochne, from being friends, become rivals. First they strive in their natural form, then they change into ravens and war upon each other for two years, making the provinces of Ireland hideous

1 For the various versions of the Cuchulainn birth-story, see Revue Celt., vol. ix, where they are translated and commented upon by M. Louis Duvau.

' These two stories are summarised by M. H. d'Arbois de Jubainville in his Cycle Mythologique Irlandais, pp. 311 et seq.

' Edited and translated by Prof. E. Windisch, Jrische Texte, iii, ■, pp. 230 et siq.

126 Folk-tale Section.

with their clamour; then they turn into sea monsters, then back to human shape again as two mighty champions, then into two awe- inspiring demons, "a third of the host perished through horror of them" ; then into two worms, and the one worm dwelt in a spring of Connaught, and the other in a spring of Ulster ; and being drunk by two cows, they were re-born as the Donn of Cualgne and as Finbennach, and it was the rivalry of these two bulls which was the ultimate cause of the war between Connaught and Ulster described in the Tain bb Cuailgne.

I lay stress upon this story not only as illustrating the incident of Cuchulainn's conception, but as being, to the best of my knowledge, the oldest known example of the " transformation fight" which figures in so many folk-tales. It is evident that if any one of the stories I have just cited can be shown to be older than the contact of Norseman and Celt (i.e., than the year 800), the explanation of Cuchulainn's birth-story as a loan from the Norse account of Hagen's birth becomes unnecessary, not to say impossible. Now, although we cannot affirm that any of these stories is in its present shape older than that contact, we can with almost absolute certainty affirm that substantially several of them are much older — belong indeed to the very earliest stratum of Irish mythic fancy. This is notably the case with the Two Swineherds. But indeed it is quite immaterial whether they are older or not. For if these different variants of the same mythic conceptions are not genuinely Irish, they must all, ex hypothesi, be modelled upon the Cuchulainn story imitation of an incident in a Norse saga. I confidently leave this hypothesis to the judgment of all capable of exercising their reasoning powers, and I can only wonder that a scholar of Professor Zimmer's extraordinary acuteness and critical insight should not have seen to what conclusions he was being led by his passion for claiming everything that bears the faintest resemblance to an incident in a German hero story as a loan therefrom.'

I maintain that in our present state of knowledge there is no scientific warrant for asserting that the incident of the miraculous conception or birth of the hero, which occurs in half-a-dozen

' I have dwelt at some length upon this incident, as Prof. Zimmer's statements with reference to the influence of Teutonic upon Celtic saga have been accepted far too readily, and conclusions have been drawn from them which do not support a moment's examination.

NuTT. — Problems of Heroic Legend. 127

varying forms in the heroic legends of Ireland, Wales, and the various Teutonic-speaking countries, has been borrowed by the Celts from the Teutons, or by the Teutons from the Celts. Within the limits of Celtdom we may surmise borrowing by the Welsh or Bretons from the Irish, but we are not in a position to prove it, nor is there any scientific necessity for postulating it. Any statements to the contrary are made either in ignorance or in defiance of the facts.

The Father and Son Combat.

The incident we have just examined is mythical ; that which I now propose to examine is not necessarily so ; there is nothing in it outside possibility, or, indeed, outside proba- bility, in a time of incessant warfare between race and race, of perpetual and considerable shifting of racial boundaries, and of widely developed mercenary service. Of this incident three main forms are known : the son may slay the father, ■ the father the son, or the issue may be bloodless. Greek heroic legend furnishes an example of the first class : Odysseus and Telegonus (the story of CEdipous and Laios is connected with a different though allied narrative group) ; of the second class we have the stories of Cuchulainn and Conlaoch, of Rustem and Sohrab, and possibly^ of the early form of Hildebrand and Hadubrand, the one written down in Ireland some time in the twelfth century at the latest, though traceable with reasonable certainty to the eighth century in its present form ; the other written down in Persia some time in the tenth century at the latest ; the third written down in Germany at the latest in the eighth century. We also have in the lai of Milun and in that of Doon, both written down some time in the twelfth century at the latest, stories of the same type, but without the tragic issue ; of the third class the best known example is the later form of Hildebrand and Hadubrand, as found in the Thidrekssaga and in a fourteenth-fifteenth century German narrative poem. I am privileged to communicate to the Congress that Professor Kuno

' I say possibly, as we have only the beginning of the old German lay, and cannot be sure how it ended. Scholari are generally agreed (e.g., both the writers who deal with the subject in Paul's Grundriss) that the lay ended tragically. Sijmons, indeed, quotes both the Irish and Persian instances in support of this contention. But this is practically to assume descent of all three versions from a common original, and this is precisely what has to be proved.

128 Folk-tale Section.

Meyer has discovered an example of the third class in the Finn or Ossianic saga. I give below the substance of his communi- cation from Harl. 5280 (f. 3Sb i), a MS. of the fifteenth century.^ Now, I do not think it can be contended that the Hilda- brand ■ episode (even assuming that its issue was tragic) gave rise on the one hand to the story of Rustem and Sohrab, on the other to that of Cuchulainn and Conlaoch ; nor do I think it can be contended that the original of these three stories is to be found in what late Greek legend relates of Odysseus and Telegonus. The idea that the Persian and Irish versions, which are astonishingly alike, can have influenced each other, is of course not to be' entertained for one moment. Dates alone forbid such a possibility. I can come to no other conclusion but that in the father and son combat we have a pan-Aryan heroic tale which has been shaped differently by different members of the race, and which has reached its extreme limit of beauty and pathos among the Celts and the Persians. Whether they reached it independently of each other by developing it from an incident once common to both races, or whether they alone retained the full version of what was once common to the various Aryan- speaking peoples, is a question that probably cannot be decided. It is noteworthy that among the Celts, along with the profoundly tragic version of the Cuchulainn cycle, we find in Milun and in Doon two presentments of the same theme, from which the tragic

' Finn O'Baiscne was seeking his son Oisin throughout Ireland. Oisin had been a year without anyone knowing his whereabouts. He was angry with his father. Then Finn found him in a waste, cooking a pig. Finn upset it and gave him a thrust. Oisin seized his weapons. He did not recognise him at once. Then said Finn that it was a foolish thing for a young warrior to fight with a grey man.

Oisin dixit, I am sure, though the grey man .... me, his spears are not sharp, his shield is not

Finn. Though his spear-points are not sharp, though his shield is not . . . . , at the hour of combat the grey man will have the upper hand.

Oisin. It is clear, though his arm is stronger, and though his .... is broad, he is not narrow in his ribs

Finn. I am not like a young calf, a grey man who has been wounded, who has been wounded

Oisin evil is his luck of the hour against the young warrior.

Finn. I know what will come of it; the young man's nose will be split.

Oisin. When ague has seized every bone, the spear from his hand is not bitter . . . .

(The poem goes on for several more verses.)

NUTT. — Problems of Heroic Legend. 129

issue has been eliminated. If the Hildebrandhed really was originally tragic, the same development obtained in Germany. Now the keenest partisan of the borrowing theory will hardly maintain that the author of the Thidrekssaga changed the tragic nature of the older German version because the author of Milun had changed the tragic nature of the older Celtic version. Surely here is an example of independent development achieving the same result.

With respect to Professor Meyer's lucky find, we must wait for a fuller critical examination of this tale before we can decide whether it is genuinely Celtic or an Irish adaptation of the Hil- debrand story. I do not think, to judge from the fragment published, that this will prove to be the case, as the situation and the conduct of the personages are by no means the same in the two stories.

It will, of course, have occurred to my readers that Arthur and Modred exemplify the same theme. Here, however, the circum- stances are so different that the story cannot with advantage be placed in the same category as those we have been considering.

Thus a close examination of two of the most important and characteristic incidents of a group of hero tales presenting marked similarities, fails to countenance explanation of them as due to borrowing by one race from another. There are, moreover, psychological difficulties, which, to my mind, stand in the way of accepting to any large extent the borrowing theory as applied to hero tales. It seems certain that the Irishmen who told of Cuchulainn, the Germans who sang of Siegfried, the Persians who celebrated Rustem, not only beheved in the existence and deeds of these heroes (as firmly in the mythical — the impossible elements — as in the purely human ones), but also looked upon them as the crowning glory and as the standing examplar of the race. The traditions connected with them formed a heritage of an especially sacred character, a heritage which it was the pride of the clan chief, the duty of ttie clan wiseman and singer to foster. Is it likely that these traditions should to any great extent be a simple adaptation or echo of stories told by strangers to the clan senti- ment, this, too, at a time when strangers were almost invariably enemies ?

If we put aside the borrowing hypothesis, if we account for the


130 Folk-tale Section.

other elements common to the heroic cycles of Europe by the theory of their origin in a common stage of culture, or of descent from one common pro-ethnic original, we go far towards answer- ing the question, " What is the nature of that portion of heroic legend which owes nothing to history, and which we call mythic ?" For it will, I think, be admitted by the majority of students that myth embodies man's imaginings of the material universe rather than that it pictures forth his memory of past events. In any case a significant clue is afforded by the miraculous birth in- cident. It is not so much that this standing feature of heroic legend is also prominent in the stories told about gods — it should be quite unnecessary at this time of day to prove that heroic saga and divine saga are largely made up of the same elements — as for the witness borne to the close relation between god and hero. Moreover, this relation is set forth' in the different versions precisely as the critical estimate of their age would lead us to expect. The Cuchulainn story, as we saw, is probably the oldest and most original ; it also occurs amongst a race which accepted Christianity comparatively early, but which certainly retained a most kindly feeling for the older paganism, and a most charming toleration of its personages. Cuchulainn is the son of a god. But the birth- stories of Merlin and of Hagen are of much later date, and were fashioned by men whose Christianity was of a far more bigoted and disagreeable kind than that of the Irish ollamhs, and so the god becomes an incubus or an elf. Surely this is the natural logical course of development, and those who start from the incubus form of the episode as the earliest are putting the cart before the horse in defiance of every principle of sound criticism. Some scholars of to-day seem most loth to admit that our Celtic and Teutonic forefathers had an organised cult and mythology, at least they look with suspicion upon stories in which such a mythology is set forth. But the evidence for these religious beliefs and practices is independent of and anterior to that of the stories which it is sought to discredit. The Romans found both among the Gauls and the Germans deities whom they assimilated at once and unhesitatingly to figures in their own Pantheon. Their conduct may be compared with that of the Spanish conquerors of America ; these, too, were struck by similarities between their own worship and that of Mexico and Peru, and they accounted for these

NuTT. — Problems of Heroic Legend. 131

similarities by diabolic intervention, whilst the Roman frankly admitted essential identity. In neither case does the modern scholar feel compelled to overstrain the force of the testimony ; he by no means assumes that the Gaulish or German deity was in all points akin to the Roman one, or that there was more than a superficial likeness of ceremonial between Mexico and Rome. But in either case he concludes that the invader found before him a fairly complex and highly-developed system of cult and behef. Such a system must have left traces both in Germany and in Celtdom, and where we find what profess to be such traces, we have no prima facie grounds for referring them to a much later stage of development.

The explanation of the similarity between certain incidents of the heroic legends of various Aryan races, by reference to the divine legends of those races, by no means prejudges the ques- tion whether these legends were evolved by the Aryans or borrowed from older races; nor whether, within the Aryan group, they are representatives of one common original or indepen- dent developments of common mythic germs ; nor even whether they are mainly natural or historical myths, though I am strongly inclined for my own part to believe that they are mainly the former. I may point out, however, that even if the myths are mainly historical, i.e., if they symbolise events which im- pressed the imagination and modified the condition of the race, it by no means follows that similarity of heroic legend implies a common history. In other words, stories which are alike among Celts, Teutons, and Greeks, need not be the special Celtic, Teutonic, or Greek recollection of a past once shared in by all these peoples, any more than, assuming them to be nature- myths, they need be the special representatives of a common mythology. All that is necessarily implied is a common method of symbolism, since, if this is granted, it follows that the inevit- able likeness between the history of races in a primitive and essen- tially warlike state will bring about likeness between the legends m which that history is embodied. Thus, if the subjection of one race by another is symbolised by a hero's gaining possession of the daughter or wife of another hero, the abduction or elopement formula will necessarily bulk largely in the sagas ot any warlike race,

K 2

132 Folk- tale Section.

One single instance, selected from recent research, must suttice of the way in which the same heroic incident lends itself to varying interpretations.^

In the last quarter of the fourth century, Ammianus Marcellinus tells how the mighty king of the Ostrogoth, Hermanaricus, fear- ing the onslaught of the Hunnish invaders, slew himself In the middle of the sixth century, Jordanes adds that Hermanaricus had been deserted by the faithless folk of the Rosomoni, for that, in- censed at the treachery of her husband, he had caused a noble woman of this folk, Sunilda by name, to be torn by wild horses, whereupon her brothers, Sarus and Ammius, had attacked and wounded him, so that he sickened and was unable to defend his land against the Huns. In the heroic narrative poems preserved in the Eddaic collection, and in the euhemerising mento of Saxo Grammaticus, the story runs as follows : Jormun- rekr sends his son Randwer to woo Swanhild, daughter of Sigurd ; but Randwer, misled by the evil counsel of Bikki, wins her love for himself, whereat his father, enraged, has him hanged, and Swanhild trampled to death by wild horses — and so long as she looked at them with open eyes they refused to do so, but when a sack was thrown over her head, or she was laid on her face, they did their office. Gudrun, Swanhild's mother, incites her son Sorli and Hamdir to avenge their sister's death, and advises them to take their youngest brother Erpr with them, and she gives them armour of such starkness that no iron will bite on it. The elder sons will have nothing to do with their younger (half-)brother Erpr and slay him. But they miss him when they come to attack Jormunrekr ; his hands they hew off and his feet ; had Erpr been there he would have cut off the head. The brothers are crushed by stones hurled at them, in one ver- sion by Jormunrekr's, in another by Odin's counsel.

It is universally admitted that the Ermenrich, or Jormunrekr, in the saga is the historical Hermanaricus, the last king of the Ostrogoths, and that the names Sarus and Ammius mean the "armed" the " weaponed" ones. It is also generally agreed that the story is in no sense of the word history, i.e., a record, how-

1 I refer to W. Miiller's Mythologie der deutschen Heldensage, pp. 148 et seq., and to Max Roediger's Die Sage von Ermenrich nnd Schivanhild {Zettschrift (les Vereinsfiir Volkskunde, ■■ 3).

NUTT. — Problems of Heroic Legend. 133

ever distorted, of actual events, but a myth, i.e., an invented symbol.

It is held by W. Miiller that the legend symbolises history. The faithlessness of Hermanaricus' wife signifies the loss of Gothic power and territory which followed the great king's death ; the two brothers are the armour-clad Romans of the eastern and western empires who attack the Goths ; that Her- manaricus' hands and feet, but not his head, are cut off signifies that the Gothic power, though greatly weakened, was not finally broken.

According to Roediger, the saga, as we have it, is an effort of Gothic imagination to explain the self-slaying of the mightiest of Gothic kings. This could only be due to some special malign cause ; hence the defection of the Rosomoni, explained by the king's cruelty to Sunilda and the avenging action of her brethren, who inflicted on the tyrant wounds which made him incapable of resisting the Huns. The material for this explanation was furnished by an early nature-myth, which told how the sky-god, Irmintiu, was wronged by his sons, the twin mail-clad riders of the dawn, who retained the sun-bride for themselves. She is trampled to death by the steed-clouds, but only when the open eye of the sun is obscured ; her brothers are similarly crushed beneath the gathering clouds of night. But the sky-god, though sorely wounded, is immortal, as is signified by his keeping his head. Erpr is a demon of darkness, whose help the dawn heroes contemn. The likeness of name between " Irmintiu" — Tiu the above-all, the incomparable — and " Ermanarikaz" — the incomparable, all-powerful king — suggested the idea of weaving the old nature-myth into the legendary account of the downfall of the Gothic kingdom.

With regard to W. Miiller's theory in this particular instance, and to theories generally of historical myth, I would venture to raise an initial query as to whether the process postulated by partisans of this theory actually does take place. Do races sum up their past history in the life-record of one individual ? Have they a conventional series of formulas by means of which an historic process extending over long periods of time, covering stretches of wide land, and affecting various races, can be steno- graphed, as it were, in the story of a small group of men and women living at the same time ?

134 Folk-tale Section.

This query seems to me to indicate the true line of research, by pursuing which we may hope to solve the problem of heroic legend. We are sure that the natural mythopoeic process is possible ; we can still observe it at work among different races. Can we be equally sure about the historical mythopceic process ? There are now living races in substantially the same style of social and artistic culture as the Celts, or Teutons, or Greeks, when the great heroic legends took shape. These races are still given to mythic invention. Do they treat their past history, con- cerning which we have in many cases authentic records, in the manner in which ex hypothesi the Greeks and Teutons and Celts treated theirs. This is a matter for investigation.

The great merit of the anthropological school of folk-lorists was that it confronted the theories of mythologists with facts de- rived from personal observation of the living subject. It seems to me that this requires to be done in the case of heroic legend, a comprehensive study of which should start with an exhaustive comparison of every known saga-form all over the world, classified according to age, land, and culture-level of the race among whom found. This will enable us to ehminate a certain number of duplicates due to borrowing within historical periods, and leave us face to face with primary forms, presenting substantially the same phenomena. Then, where we can interrogate men who still fashion hero-tales, still believe in and are still inspired by them, let us do so, and let us see if their answer will enable us to interpret these monuments of a dead past which have engaged our attention for a short space to-day, and concerning the inter- pretation of which it may be said, Quot homines tot sententia.

P..S. — The pi'eceding article was in type when (December) Mons. H. d'Arbois de Jubainville's Epopee celtique en Irlande came into my hands. Amongst other early Irish sagas Mons. d'Arbois studies the Cuchulainn and Conlaoch story, and comes to the conclusion that the Irish version is older than either the Persian or the Teutonic one, and that it is indeed the direct original of the latter. I mention this to show that other scholars are prepared to make much larger claims on behalf of Irish heroic legend than I am, and that if I err, I err on the side of caution rather than of over-rashness. — A. N.


La chanson populaire en Finlande ne peut pas s'offrir a une etude si complete, que celle de beaucoup d'autres pays, parce que tous las recueils sont recents at pas du tout encore finis. Pourtant les recueils actuals presantent des faits qui ne manqueront pas d'interet. L'honorable Monsieur J. Tiarsot a prouve dans son Histoire de la chanson populaire en France que dans sa patrie at da meme dans la plus granda partie de I'Europe la chanson populaire, c'est-a-dire la vraie, la belle chanson populaire, est de plus an plus aneantia par la chanson de rua, et que seulement dans quelques provinces Isoldes le peuple a conserve Thdritaga musicale de sas ancetras, quelquafois degdnere, depravd, souvent capandant plus ou moins iramaculd at intact dans son originalla baaute.

En Finlande, outre cas deux diverses phases de developpamant de la chanson populaire, il y en a encore deux autres. Tandis qua la gouvarnamant d'Archangel se trouve encore dans I'etat primitive des chants epiques aux mdlodies monotones et toujours se rep6tant, la chanson lyrique est deja vivante, se produisant, se developpant dans le Centra de notre pays at dans la Carelie septentrionale. Entre ces daux contrees est situee la Savolaxie septentrionale, qui n'est pas encore suffisamment connue a cet dgard ; mais probablement cette province-ci est la troisieme source vivante, d'ou se repandent les nouvellas chansons dans las provinces environnantes, en rajeunissant continuellement la sentiment musical du peuple. Dans le Centra p. ex. pendant six semaines de I'etd 1890 deux musiciens ont recueilli prfes de 150 melodies, toutes vraiment belles at dignes de publication. Dans les memes contrdas un coUectionnaur il y a trente ans n'en trouvait que trfes-peu. Les paysans me dirent une fois, que dans chaque village a present une nouvalle chanson est faite chaque etd par

136 Folk-tale Section.

les jeunes fiUes. Bien que ceci n'ait egard qu'aux textes des chansons, la melodie etant composee tout naivement sans que le compositeur s'en rende compte, il n'est pas a douter cependant qu'avec ces textes toujours nouveaux aussi beaucoup de melodies nouvelles soient produites. Leur modernite, qui d'ailleurs est bien prouvee par I'existence de plusieurs variantes des memes melodies, les unes primitives, les autres plus developpees, se manifeste aussi dans leur caractere plus hardi, que celui des chansons des recueils plus anciens.

Dans notre musique populaire on peut trouver deux categories de caractfere distinct : les chansons careliennes et celles du Centre. Le caractere de celles-la est d'une abondante gaiete ou d'une melancofie trfes-douce ; celles-ci sont austferes et d'une passion a demi-retenue ou profondement reveuses. Les chansons careliennes sont influencees par la musique russe, celles du Centre reflfetent purement le caractere finnois. Ce caractere, difficile a decrire, vous serait cependant tout d'un coup saisissable, si vous vous pouviez imaginer la nature des provinces du Centre, les etroits lacs qui se trainent dans tout coin du pays en le decoupant en iles et en presqu'iles innombrables, les bouleaux souriants qui garnissent les rivages, les sombres hauteurs couvertes des bois en vert fonce, ouvrantes parfois ii I'ceil I'aspect d'un vaste paysage, oil les terres et les eaux se remplacent tour a tour jusqu'a I'horizon limite de collines bleuatres ; vous devriez eprouver le sentiment de solitude de cette nature presque sauvage, les cultures se derobant en general dans les bois. Si alors du milieu de la foret ou d'un bateau cache la-bas derriere une presqu'ile, una chanson se fait entendre, on la croirait produite par la nature meme, tant elle en porte le caractere, et, la chanson finie, le leger soufflement du vent fait vibrer les cordes de Fame par les memes sentiments. — Dans les derniers temps on peut remarquer quelque tendance de rupture avec le calme classique de la nature, qui ne laisse jamais son equilibre s'ebranler meme par les plus violents orages ; mais quand les sentiments subjectifs de Fame humaine commencent a s'emanciper de la nature, alors suivra aus.-)! I'emancipation du talent individuel et I'aboutissement de la chanson populaire en Fart nationale.

La forme des melodies s'est faite d'abord de 4 tactes; puis encore 4 tactes sc forment en s'accrochant a quelque motif de la

Krohn. — La Chanson, PopuLaire en Finlatidc. i 37

premiere moitie, ou bien deux melodies independantes se reu- nissent en una formation d' 8 tactes qui alors est tres-apte a s'elargir jusqu'a 12 ou 16 tactes. Plusieurs variantes de la meme melodie donnent souvent d'interessants details sur les diverses formations. Une tendance individuelle se laisse voir dans la forme par des irregularites, comme p. ex. I'intercalation d'un tacte repetant son predecesseur ou I'elargissement des notes d'un tacte a leur double valeur.

La mesure est le plus souvent celle de |, \ ow \\ celle de f est probablement due a I'influence suedoise, mais la mesure de f est une vraie finnoise, qui regne absolument dans les melodies epiques et de la s'est egare dans quelques melodies lyriques. Aussi les mesures mixtes se trouvent quelquefois.

Quant a la tonalite, la majeure est bien representee par les gaies chansons careliennes, mais dans le Centre elle n'est guere usee, que dans les melodies triviales et sentimentales, avant- gardes de la chanson de rue, qui depravera assurement le sen- timent musical du peuple, s'il n'apprend pas a connaitre la valeur de son propre bien. Cependant il y a quelques rares chansons en tonaliti! majeure, qui sont des plus belles. La plupart des vrais chansons populaires dans le Centre appartient aux tonalites dorienne, phrygienne, eolienne et mixolydienne, par laquelle quelquefois des chansons triviales en majeure sont ennoblies et embellies. La tonality mineure n'est point du tout rare, mais en general les finnois ont le goiit pour la septieme abaissee ; ce s. d. ton sensible est pourtant un peu plus haut que la septieme petite de la musique savante ; meme les chanteurs, qui ont la meilleure intonation sur les autres tons, faussent regulierement celui-la. Les modulations, encore tres-rares, sont un produit recent de la tendance individuelle.

Le texte est a present rarement bien forme. Les temps du Kanteletar ne sont plus. La poesie lyrique est remplacee par la musique lyrique. Pourtant au moment du remplacement les deux ont ete reunies dans quelques unes des plus belles chansons, p. ex. la ballade du fratricide. Dans les chansons modernes la poesie s'est refugiee dans la pensee, mais elle n'a pas pu se maintenir intacte de trivialite. Quand on s'est rejoui de quelques strophes poetiques, aussitot les suivants detruisent I'illusion. Caracteristiques sont les chansons d'amour trompe, qui contiennent des touchants

138 Folk- tale Section.

traits de tendresse fidfele et des sevferes jugements centre I'infidele. Je tacherai de vous en traduire une :

" Oh qui, qui a plante des fleurs Dans les sfeches pierres ? Oh qui, qui a caus^ les pleurs De son amie chfere ?

" Un bleu nuage recouvrant Le ciel, mais sans pluie ! Hdlas, quel coeur a un amant Qui trompe son amie !

" Le bouleau vert, le soir venu. Fait reposer ses rameaux ; Jamais ne me sera perdu L'amour qui est dans I'Elme.

" Mon pauvre ami, que feras-tu Au jour enfin supreme, Quand face en face tu auras vu Et I'autre, et moi qui t'aime ?! "

Ce noble sentiment de la morale ne montre pas encore le plus haut degrd, jusqu'ou s'est elev^ la phantaisie du peuple finnois. Les chansons religieuses, recemment decouvertes, ont une valeur musicale, qui ne pent gubre etre depassde par la musique popu- laire. La tendance individuelle y est pouss^e le plus loin pos- sible. Les formes se conforment librement a la pensee par une grande variability du rhythme et des mesures ; la mdlodie invite absolument a une harmonisation bien dlue pour exprimer le sentiment du texte, les serieuX combats de I'ame, la consolation par l'amour divin, la fervente reconnaissance et la forte confiance en la victoire de la verity. Les plus recentes de ces chansons sont compos^es il y a cinquante ans ; elles ne sont chanties plus, que par les vieux gens 9a et la dans tout le pays. Leur origine est trfes-discutde. II y a ceux qui les croient issues des chansons de la Reformation allemande. Pour ^claircir ce sujet il faudra les efforts r^unis des musiciens folk-loristes de toutes les nations, chez lesquelles la R^forme de I'eglise s'est manifestde aussi dans la musique populaire. Ce qu'il y a de certain, c'est que la plupart de ces chansons ont un caractere tout k fait finnois et qu'elles sont chanties en differentes variantes dans toutes les provinces outre

Krohn. — La Chanson Populaire en Finlande. 139

la Carelie, jusqu'oii ne s'^tait 6tendu le mouvement pidtiste, auquel certes nous devons leur propagation et peut-etre leur creation. Cette musique sera en tout cas un temoin de la pro- fondeur du sentiment religieux de notre peuple. Meme dans les provinces de I'Ouest, oil Ton croyait toute musique populaire tarie depuis longtemps, le reveil des cceurs pour embrasser la foi en Jesus-Christ avait rouvert ses sources cachees. La r^colte de I'annee passee, publi^e en hiver, ne sera pas la seule ; cet ete (1891) nous en a fourni encore un grand nombre et dbs a present que le tresor est decouvert, on le ramassera pendant qu'il est temps encore ; bientot on aurait d^ja peine inutile. Maintenant au contraire nous gardons Tespoir, que ces chansons publiees se repandront de nouveau partout parmi le peuple.

De la population su6doise d'une partie de nos cotes de mer on a recueilli des chansons de niarins, des ballades et quelques autres. Leur caractfere est le meme qu'en Suede. L'influence reciproque des deux musiques populaires, finnoise et suedoise, n'est pas grande. Les chansons suedoises, qui se sont rdpandues chez les finnois, ont le plus souvent subi un assez curieux change- ment de tonalite et de mesure.

Je vais finir cet expose de la musique populaire de mon peuple en exprimant ma conviction de ce qu'elle ne sera pas vaincue par la chanson de rue, comma cela c'est fait chez tant d'autres nations ; notre jeune musique savante, en sugant I'esprit de la chanson populaire, le redonnera dans un travesti artistique au peuple, qu'elle instruira ainsi a estimer et conserver sa propriete. Alors Fart vrai aura un large fondement pour se preparer a la lutte dangereuse et acharnee contre le mauvais goflt ; en s'appuyant sur la musique populaire vivante et en se maintenant en rapport reciproque avec elle, la musique savante remportera la victoire sur son ennemi et cessera alors d'etre un objet de luxe des classes superieures, en arrivant a son vrai but, a sa vraie mission, d'etre un moyen de culture nationale et humaine.


{Myth, Ritual, and Magic) Chairman— PROF. JOHN RHYS.

OCTOBER sth, 1891.


I HAVE been a little exercised to discover why in the world I was fixed upon to fill the chair to-day, and I have come to the con- clusion that it was for the sake, perhaps, of providing me with an opportunity of doing public penance for my many grievous sins against the muse of Mythology. There might be something in that, since the penitence of a thorough-paced sinner is apt to be eloquent ; but I cannot promise eloquence ; nor do I feel like one flowing over with a great and fertilizing mission to you. So my remarks will be of a very miscellaneous nature, but I find that they group themselves under the following three heads :

A word or two on the recent history of mythology in this

country ; The relations between mythology and glottology, as I may

briefly call comparative philology ; And some of the difficulties attaching to mythological studies


It has been well said, that while it is not science to know the contents of myths, it is science to know why the human race has produced them. It is not my intention to trace minutely the history of that science, but I may hazard the remark that she could not be said to have reached years of discretion till she became comparative ; and even when mythology had become comparative mythology, her horizon remained till within recent years compara- tively narrow. In other words, the comparisons were wont to be very circumscribed : you might, it is true, compare the myths of Greeks and Teutons and Hindus, because these nations were considered to be of the same stock; but even within that range com- parisons were scarcely contemplated except in the case of myths enshrined in the most classical literatures of those nations. This kind of mythology was eclectic rather than comparative, and it was apt to regard myths as a mere disease of language. By-and-by,

144 Mythological Section.

however, the student showed a preference for a larger and broader field, and in so doing he was, whether consciously or uncon- sciously, beginning to keep step with a wider movement extending to the march of all the kindred sciences, especially that of language.

At one time the student of language was satisfied with mummi- fied speech wrapped up as it were in the musty coils of the records of the past ; in fact, he often became a mere researcher of the dead letter of language instead of a careful observer of the breath of life animating her frame. So long as that remained the case glottology deserved the whole irony of Voltaire's well-known account of etymology : " L'dtymologie est une science ou les voyelles ne font rien, et les consonnes fort peu de chose." In the course, however, of recent years a great change has come over the scene : not only have the laws of the Aryan consonants gained greatly in precision, but those of the Aryan vowels have at last been dis- covered to a considerable extent. The result for me and others who learnt that the Aryan peasant of idyllic habits harped eternally on the three notes of <?, /, u, is that we have to unlearn that and a great deal more, which shows the vowels to be far more trouble- some than the consonants. But difficult as these lessons are, we must learn them, unless we be content to teach only the strag- glers unable to move on. Now the change to which I allude in connection with the study of language has been inseparably ac- companied with the paying of increased attention to actual speech, with a more careful scrutiny of dialects, even obscure dialects such as the literary man is wont to regard with unspeakable scorn.

Similarly the student of mythology now seeks the wherewithal of his comparisons from the mouth of the traveller and the mission- ary wherever he may be, and not from the Rig- Veda or the Iliad alone, but from the rude stories of the peasant, and the wild fancies of the savage from Tierra del Fuego to Greenland's Icy Mountains. The parallel may be drawn still closer : just as the glottologist, fearing lest the written letter may have slurred over or hidden away important peculiarities of ancient speech, resorts for a corrective to the actuality of modern Aryan, so the mytho- logist, apt to suspect the testimony of the highly respectable bards of the Rig- Veda, may on occasion give ear to the fresh evidence of a savage, however inconsequent it may sound. The

The ChairmarCs Address. 1 45

movements to which I allude in glottology and mythology began so recently, that their history has not yet been written. Sufifice it to say that in the science of language the names most intimately connected with the new departure are those of Ascoli, J. Schmidt, and Fick, those of Leskien, Brugmann, Osthoff, and De Saussure, while of the teachers of the anthropological method of studying myths several are present at this Congress. But, so far as I know, the first to give a systematic exposition was Dr. Tylor, in his work on Primitive Culture, published in 1871. If I were to venture on a criticism, it would be this : the anthropological school of mythology seems to me to make somewhat too little of race. I shall, however, not pursue that question, as we are promised a sketch in the afternoon of a more thoroughly racial view of mythology.

Such has been the intimate connection between mythology and glottology that I may be pardoned for going back again to the latter. It is applicable in its method to all languages, but, as a matter of fact, it came into being in the domain of Aryan philology, so that it has been all along principally the science of com- paring the Aryan languages with one another. It began with Sir William Jones's discovery of the kinship of Sanskrit with Greek and Latin, and for a long time it took the lead of the more closely related sciences : this proved partly beneficial and partly the reverse. In the case of ethnology, for instance, the influence of glottology has doubtless done more harm than good, since it has opened up a wide field for confounding race with language. In the case of mythology the same influence has been partly helpful, and it has partly fallen short of being such. Where names could be analysed with certainty, and where they could be equaled leaving little room for doubt, as in the case of that of the Greek ZeiT?, the Norse Tyr, and the Sanskrit Dyaus, the science of language rendered a veritable help to mythology ; but where the students of language, all pointing in different directions, claimed each to hold in his hand the one safety-lamp beyond the range of which the mythologist durst not take a single step except at the imminent risk of breaking his neck, the help may be pronounced, to say the least of it, as somewhat doubtful. The anthropological method of studying myths put an end to the unequal relation between the students of the two sciences, and it is now pretty

146 Mythological Section.

well agreed that the proper relationship between them is that of mutual aid. This will doubtless prove the solution of the whole matter, but it would be premature to say that the period of strained relations is quite over, as the mythologist has so recently made good his escape from the embarrassing attentions of the students of language, that he has not yet quite got out of his ears the bewildering notes of the chorus of discordant cries of " Dawn", " Sun", and " Storm-cloud".

Now that I have touched on the pleasant relations which ought to exist between the science of language and the science of myth, I may perhaps be allowed to notice a point or two where it is possible or desirable for the one to render service to the other. As a student of language — for I am a mere man of words — I want the help of the student of myth, custom, and religion on matters which most immediately concern Celtic scholars, and you must excuse me for taking my stand on Celtic ground. There is, I am well aware, an English rule against " talking shop", and it is doubtless in some respects a wholesome rule ; but in the case of a shrivelled specialist like myself it means the hardship, that I am not to talk on the only subject which I ought to know something about. So you will, I hope, allow me to arm myself with another of the English commandments, one which happens to be Roman too : this law sanctioned by the wisdom of two great nations merely bids " the cobbler stick to his last". You will be for the present the guardians of that law, and allow me to observe it by calling your attention to a peculiar feature of the Welsh language. When, for example, you would say in English "it rains" or "it freezes", I should have to say in my own language, " Y mae hi 'n bwrw glaw" and " Y mae hi 'n rhewi", which literally mean " She is casting rain" and " She is freezing". Nor is this sort of locution confined to weather topics, for when you would say " He is badly off" or " He is hard up", a Welshman might say " Y mae hi 'n ddrwg arno ef or " Y mae hi 'n galed arno ef", that is literally, " She is evil on him" or " She is hard on him". And the same feminine pronoun impersonalizes itself in other locutions in the language. Now I wish in the friendliest manner possible to invoke the student of myth, ritual, and religion to help me to identify this ubiquitous " she" of the Welsh. Whenever I mention it to Englishmen it merely calls to their minds the Highland "she" of

The Chairman! s Address. la^'j

English and Scotch caricature, as for instance when Sir Walter Scott makes Donald appeal to Lord Menteith's man Anderson, who had learnt manners in France, in the following strain, " What the deil, man, can she no drink after her ain master without washing the cup and spilling the ale, and be tamned to her !" The Highlander denies the charge which caricature fastens on him ; but even granting that it was once to some extent justified, it is easy to explain it by a reference to Gaelic, where the pronouns se and sibh for " he and " you" respectively approach in pronunciation the sound of the English pronoun " she". This may have led to confusion in the mouths of Highlanders who had but imperfectly mastered English. In any case it is far too super- ficial to be quoted as a parallel to the hi., " she", in question in Welsh. A cautious Celtist, if such there be, might warn us before proceeding further with the search, to make sure that the whole question is not a mere accident of Welsh phonetics, and that it is not a case of two pronouns, one meaning "she" and the other "it", being confounded as the result of phonetic decay. The answer to that is, that the language knows nothing of any neuter pronoun which could assume the form of hi which occupies us ; and further, that in locutions where the legitimate representative of the neuter might be expected, the pronoun used is a different one, ef, e, meaning both " he and " it", as in i-e " yes he, she, or it", nag-e "not he, she, or it", ef a allai, fe allai "perhaps, perad- venture, peut-etre, il est possible". The French sentence sug- gests the analogous question, what was the original force of denotation of the " il" in such sentences as "il fait beau", "il pleut", and " il neige"? In such cases it now denotes nobody in particular, but has it always been one of his names? French historical grammar may be able, unaided, to dispose of the attenu- ated fortunes of M. //, but we have to look for help to the student of myth and allied subjects to enable us to identify the great " she" persistently eluding our grasp in the syntax of the Welsh language. Only two feminine names suggest themsehes to me as in any way appropriate, and I think that neither will do. One is Tynghed, " Fate or Fortune", and the other is Don, mother of the most mythic personages in Celtic literature.

There is no evidence to show that either of them is the " she" of whom we are in search ; but I have something to say about

L 2

148 Mythological Section.

both as illustrating the other side of my theme, how the study of language may help mythology. This I have so far only illustrated by a reference to the equation of Zeus with Dyaus and their congeners. Within the Celtic family itself the case is similar with Don, who figures on Welsh ground, as I have hinted, as mother of certain heroes of the oldest chapters of the Mabinogion. For it is from her that Gwydion the Bard and Culture Hero, and Govannon the Smith his brother, are called Sons of Don ; and it was from her that the epithet "Daughter of Don" came to be given to Arianrhod, mother of Lieu and owner of the sea-laved castle of Caer Arianrhod off the prehistoric mound of Dinas Dinlle near the western mouth of the Menai Straits. In Irish mythology we detect Don under the Irish form of her name Danu or Donu, genitive Danann or Donann,^ and she is almost singular there in always being styled a goddess. From her the great mythical personages of Irish legend are called Tuatha De Danann, or the Goddess Danu's Tribes, and sometimes Fir Dt-a, or the Men of the Goddess. Her name seems to have meant death, and to be of the same origin as the Celtic words for man, Irish duine, Welsh dyn, which appear to have meant Ovrjro^ or mortal. We have the English cognates in the northern verb dwifte ' to fall into a swoon', and the more widely known derivative dwindle. The last stage in the Welsh history of Don, our female Dis, consists of her translation to the skies, where the constellation of Cassiopeia is supposed to constitute " Llys Don or Don's Court, as the Corona Borealis is identified with Caer Arianrhod or her daughter's castle. As was perhaps fitting, the dimensions of both are reduced to comparative littleness by Caer Gwydion or the Culture Hero's Battlements spread over the radiant expanse of the whole Milky Way.^ Now the identification of this ancient god- dess Danu or Don as that in whom the pantheons of the two branches of the Celtic family converge into one, has been the work not so much of mythology as of the science of language^ ; for it was the latter that found the means of calling back a little the local colouring into the vanishing lineaments of this the most ancient of Celtic divinities.

^ Stokes' Celtic Dedensioii^ p. 31.

^ Guest's A/abinogioii, iii, 255, where Don is treated as a male.

3 See Rhys's Hibbert Lectures, pp. 89-92, and Y Cypimroaor, vi, 163-5.

The Chainiiaiis Address. 149

For my next illustration, namely Tynghed " Fate", I beg leave to cite a passage from the opening of one of the most Celtic of Welsh stories, that of " Kulhwch and Olwen". Kulhwch's father, after being for some time a widower, marries again, and conceals from his second wife the fact that he has a son. She finds it out and lets her husband know it ; so he sends for his son Kulhwch, and the following is the account of the son's interview with the stepmother as given in Lady Charlotte Guest's translation : " His stepmother said unto him, ' It were well for thee to have a wife, and I have a daughter who is sought of every man of renown in the world.' ' I am not of an age to wed,' answered the youth. Then said she unto him, ' I declare to thee, that it is thy destiny not to be suited with a wife until thou obtain Olwen, the daughter of Yspaddaden Penkawr.' And the youth blushed, and the love of the maiden diffused itself through all his frame, although he had never seen her. And his father inquired of him, ' What has come over thee, my son, and what aileth thee ? ' ' My stepmother has declared to me, that I shall never have a wife until I obtain Olwen, the daughter of Yspaddaden Penkawr.' 'That will be easy for thee,' answered his father. ' Arthur is thy cousin. Go, therefore, unto Arthur, to cut thy hair, and ask this of him as a boon.' "

The physical theory of love for an unknown lady at the first mention of her name, and the allusion to the Celtic tonsure, will have doubtless caught your attention, but I only wish to speak of the words which the translator has rendered, " I declare to thee, that it is thy destiny not to be suited with a wife until thou obtain Olwen" More closely rendered, the original might be translated thus : " I swear thee a destiny that thy side touch not a wife till thou obtain Olwen. The word in the Welsh for destiny is tynghet (for an earlier tuncei), and the corresponding Irish word is attested as tocad. Tynghed has a tendency, like " fate", to be applied mostly in pejorem partem. Formerly, however, it might be freely used in an auspicious sense likewise, as is proved by the woman's name Tunccetace on an early inscribed stone in Pembrokeshire. If her name had been rendered into Latin she would have probably been called Fortunata as a namesake of Good Fortune. I rendered the Welsh "mi a tynghaf dynghet itt"' into English, " I swear thee a destiny" ; but, more literally still, it should be " I swear thee a

^ Red Book JMabini-gion, p. 102 ; Guest, ii, 252.

1 50 Mythological Section.

swearing", that is, " I swear thee an oath", meaning " I swear for thee an oath which will bind thee. The stepmother, it is true, is not represented going through the form of words, for what she said appears to have been a regular formula, just like that of put- ting a person in Irish story under geasa or bonds of magic ; but an oath or form of imprecation was doubtless a dark reality be- hind the formula. In the southern part of my native county of Cardigan the phrase to which I have directed your attention has been in use within the last thirty years, and the practice which it denotes is still so well known as to be the subject of local stories. A friend of mine who is under forty vividly remembers listening to an uncle of his relating how narrowly he once escaped having the oath forced on him. He was in the hilly portion of the parish of Llanwenog, coming home across country in the dead of a mid- summer's night, when leaping over a fence he came down un- expectedly close to a man actively engaged in sheep-stealing. My friend's uncle instantly took to his heels, while the thief pur- sued him with a knife. If the thief had caught him, it is under- stood that he would hold his knife at his throat and force on him an oath of secrecy. I have not been able to ascertain the word- ing of the oath, but all I can learn goes to show that it was dreaded only less than death itself In fact there are stories current which relate how a man now and then failed to recover from the shock occasioned him by the oath, but lingered and died in a comparatively short time. The phrase tyngu tynghed} intelligible in modern Wales, serves to help us to understand the Latin word fatum. In fact it seems to suggest that the latter was originally a part of a formula which would have sounded somewhat like a//ir«//a/a7«/flr/, "to say one a saying". This is all the more to the point, as it is well known how closely Latin and Celtic are related to one another, and how every advance in the study of those languages goes to add emphasis to that relation- ship. From the kinship of the languages one may expect to a

1 It will be noticed tliat tiiere is a discrepancy between the gutturals of these two words : tyngu " to swear"(0. Ir. tongu " 1 swear") has »^, while tynghed and its Irish equivalent imply an nc. 1 do not know how to explain this, though I cannot doubt the fact of the words being cognate. A somewhat similar difference, however, occurs in Welsh dwyn " to bear, carry, steal", and dwg " carries, bears"; see the Revue Celtiqiie, vi, 18, i^.

Tlie Cliairman's Address. 151

certain extent a similarity of rites and customs, and for this one has not to go further than the very story which I have cited. When Kulhwch's father iirst married, he is said to have sought a wreic kynmwyt ac ef,^ which means "a wife of the same food with him". Thus the wedded wife was she probably who ate with her husband, and we are reminded of the food ceremony which con- stituted the aristocratic marriage in ancient Rome : it was called confarreatio, and in the course of it an offering of cake czWed/ar- reum libwn used to be made to Jupiter. A great French student of antiquity, M. Fustel de Coulanges, describes the ceremony thus^ : " Les deux epoux, comme en Grfece, font un sacrifice, versent la libation, prononcent quelques priferes, at mangent ensemble un gateau de fleur de farine {panis farreus)."

I notice that I have overstepped the bounds of my section, so I return to the 'LiLtinfahim to remark only that the Romans had a plurality of Fata, but how far they were suggested by the Greek Molfiai I cannot say ; nor can I tell whether the ancient Welsh had more than one Tynghed. Not so, however, with old Norse, for there we come across the Fate as one, and that one bearing a name which is perhaps cognate with the Celtic one. I allude to a female figure called Thokk, who appears in the touching mj'th of Balder's death. When Balder had fallen at the hands of Loki and HoSr, his mother Frigg asked who would wish to earn her goodwill by going as her messenger to treat with Hell for the release of Balder. Herm66r the Swift, another of the sons of Woden, undertook to set out on that journey on his father's charger Sleipnir. For nine dreary nights he pursued his perilous course without interruption through glens dark and deep till he came to the river called Yell, when he was questioned as to his errand by the maid in charge of the Yell bridge. On and on he rode afterwards till he came to the fence of Hell's abode, which his horse cleared at full speed. Herm6Sr entered the hall, and there found his brother Balder seated in the place of honour. He abode with him that night, and in the morning he asked Hell

^ Red Book Mab., p. loo, Guest, ii, 247, where it is rendered " a wife as a help- mate", which is more commonplace than suggestive.

^ La cm Antique (Paris, 1864), P- 5° ! ^^^ ^l^o Joachim Marquardt's Privat- leheti der RSmer (Leipsic, 1886), pp. 49-51, and among the references there given may be mentioned Dionysius of Halicarnassus, ii, 25.

152 Mythological Section.

to let Balder ride home with him to the Anses. He urged Hell to consider the grief which everybody and everything felt for Balder. She replied that she would put that to the test by letting Balder go if everything animate and inanimate would weep for him ; but he would be detained if anybody or anything declined to do so. HermdSr made his way back alone to the Anses and announced to Frigg the answer which Hell had given to her request. Messengers were sent forth without delay to bid all the world beweep Woden's son out of the power of Hell. This was done accordingly by all, by men and animals, by earth and stones, by trees and all metals, as you have doubtless seen these things weep, says the writer of the Prose Edda, when they pass from frost to warmth. As the messengers, however, were on their way home after discharging their duty, they chanced on a cave where dwelt a giantess called Thokk, whom they ordered to join in the weeping for Balder, but she only answered —

" Thokk will weep dry tears At Balder's bale-fire. What is the Son of Man, quick or dead, to me I Let Hell keep what she holds."

In this ogress Thokk, deaf to the appeals of the tenderer feelings, we seem to have the counterpart of our Celtic tocad and tynghed, and the latter's name as a part of the formula in the Welsh story, while giving us the key of the myth, shows how the early Aryan knew of nothing more binding than the magic force of an oath. On the one hand this conception of destiny carries with it the marks of its low origin, and one readily agrees with Cicero's words, De Divinatione, when he says "Anile sane et plenum superstitionis fati nomen ipsum" On the other hand, it rises to the grim dignity of a name for the dark inexorable power which the whole universe is conceived to obey, a power before which the great and resplendent Zeus of the Aryan race is a mere puppet.

Perhaps I have dwelt only too long on the policy of " give and take which ought to obtain between mythology and glottology. Unfortunately one can add without fear of contradiction, that, even when that pohcy is carried out to the utmost, both sciences will still have difficulties more than enough. In the case of mythology these difficulties spring chiefly from two distinct sources, from the blending of history with myth, and from the

The Chairman's Address. IS3

mixing of one race with another. Let us consider the latter first : the difficulties from this source are many and great, but every fresh acquisition of knowledge tending to make our ideas of ethnology more accurate, gives us a better leverage for placing the myths of mixed peoples in their proper places as regards the races composing those peoples. Still we have far fewer propo- sitions to lay down than questions to ask : thus to go no further afield than the well-known stories attaching to the name of Heracles, how many of them are Aryan, how many Semitic, and how many Aryan and Semitic at one and the same time ? That is the sort of question which besets the student of Celtic mythology at every step ; for the Celtic nations of the present day are the mixed descendants of Aryan invaders and the neolithic popula- tions whom those Aryan invaders found in possession. So the question thrusts itself on the student, to which of these races a particular myth, rite, or custom is to be regarded as originally belonging. Take the following Irish instance : one Halloween the great Irish champion Cuchulainn had an unfortunate meeting with two fairy princesses, who plunged him in sleep and lethargy for a whole year. At the approach of the ensuing Halloween his wife tries to make Cuchulainn rise and bestir himself, and, among other appeals which she makes to him, she asks him to look out and behold the King of \Mnter come. Her words suggest a giant form blue in the face with cold, and solid in the shoulders with massive ice : the portion of the original in question may be loosely rendered as follows' : —

Erig agerait ulad roddusci suan sldn siibach deci rig inacha niocricth nitleci re rochotlud

Arise thou hero of Ulster, Hale and gay shake off thy slumber ; See Macha's King of giant form. Forbidding thee to sleep too long.

^ The original is here copied, with one or two very slight emendations, from the Book of the Dun Cov, as published in facsimile by the Royal Irish Academy (Dublin. 1870), folio 47^.

154 Mythological Section.

D^ca agualaind Idn doglain dica achurnic cocormaim d^ca achairptiu cinnit glend ddca arrethii fian fidchell

See his shoulder all of crystal, See his horns all full of beer ; See his chariots that scour the glens, See the chess-play of their career I

D^ca achuradic cdmbrig d^ca aingenraid nardmtn dica arigu rem naga dica arignu dermdra

See his champions in their strength, See his daughters tall and slender. See his kings a martial train, See his queens of mighty stature I

Dica tossach gemrid gli'cair d^ca each ingnad arni'<air d^ca let issed fdtgiii afuaclit afot ahamU

See winter's clear beginning.

See each marvel in its turn ;

See what now on thee attends —

Her cold, her weary length, her livid hue !

This last line, with its vivid reference to the rigour and length of winter, and to the tints of blue in the face of a shivering man, terms them her cold, her length, and her discolour ; but to whom does the pronoun refer ? The lines I have just recited suggest no answer but Macha, whose king is the icy personage whom they describe. Conversely Macha is doubtless to be regarded as his queen, and she is probably to be identified with the second god- dess of the triad Badb, Macha, and Ana, daughters of Ernbas king of the Tuatha De Danann. Ana is called the mother of the Irish gods, while Badb, or Bodb, and Macha figure chiefly as war-furies. But the remoter portions of the quasi-history of ancient Erinn mention several Machas : one of them was the wife of Nemed, one of the earliest settlers in the Island, and a later one is distin- guished as Macha Mongruadh, or M. of the Red Hair, a fierce queen of gigantic strength who founded and named Emain Macha,

The Chairman's Address. 155

now known as the Navan Fort, about two miles from Armagh. Armagh itself, called in Irish Ard Macha or Macha's Height, was doubtless also named after some one of the Machas ; but it appears to be a place of much later growth than Emain, which was the headquarters of the True Ultonians or native Picts, until it was conquered by the Celts, under the lead of the Three Collas, about the year 331.

A number of curious passages relating to the war-fury Macha and her sisters will be found collected in the first volume of the Revue Celtique, by the late Irish scholar, Mr. Hennessy. As to Badb or Bodb, her name has been shown to be Aryan^ : it means war or battle. But my interest here centres in Macha, as to whom I should greatly like to know whether she belonged originally to the Celts or to the pre-Celtic natives.

The same kind of question arises in reference now and then to Cuchulainn himself : take for instance the stock description of Cdchulainn in a rage. Thus when angered he underwent strange distortions : the calves of his legs came round to where his shins should have been, his mouth enlarged itself so that it showed his liver and lungs swinging in his throat, one of his eyes became as small as a needle's, or else it sank back into his head further than a crane could have reached, while the other protruded itself to a corresponding length, every hair on his body became as sharp as a thorn, and held on its point a drop of blood or a spark of fire. It would be dangerous then to stop him from fighting, and even when he had fought enough, he required for his cooling to be plunged into three baths of cold water ; the first into which he went would instantly boil over, the second would be too hot for anybody else to bear, and the third only would be of congenial warmth. I will not ask you whether you think that strange picture betrays a touch of the solar brush, but I should be very glad indeed to be satisfied whether it can be regarded as Aryan or not.

It is much the same with matters other than mythological : take for instance that bedlamite custom of the couvade,^ which is

1 See my Hibbert Lectures, pp. 43, 452, 604-

^ Two versions of a story to account tor the Ultonian rouvade have been published, with a translation into German, by Prof. Windisch in the Berkhte aer K- Sachs. Gesellschaft der Wissenschaftm (Phil.-Hist. Classe), for 1884, pp 384

15*6 Mythological Section.

presented to us in Irish literature in the singular form of a cess, " snffering or indisposition", simultaneously attacking the braves of ancient Ulster. We are briefly informed in the Book of the Dun Cow, folio 60', that the women and boys of Ulster were free from it. So was any Ultonian, we are told, who happened to be outside the boundaries of his country, and so were Ciichulainn and his father. Anyone who was rash enough to attack an Ultonian warrior during this his period of helplessness could not, it is further stated, expect to live afterwards either prosperously or long. The question for us, however, is this : was the couvade introduced by the Aryan invaders of Ireland, or are we rather to trace it to the aboriginal inhabitants ? I should be, I must confess, inclined to the latter view, especially as the couvade was observed by the Iberians^ of old, and by the ancient Corsicans.'^ It may have been both Aryan and Iberian, but it will serve as a specimen of the sort of question which one has to try to answer.

Another instance of the same kind offers itself in the curious belief that, when a child is born, it is one of the ancestors of the family come back to live again. Traces of this occur in Irish literature, namely in one of the stories about Cuchulainn. There we read to the following effect : " The Ultonians took counsel on account of Cuchulainn, because their wives and girls loved him greatly ; for Cuchulainn had no consort at that time. This was their counsel, namely that they should seek for Cuchulainn the best consort for him to woo. For it was evident to them that a

et seq. Sundry references to the couvade will also be found in my Hibbert Lectures, where certain mythological suggestions made with reference to it require to be reconsidered. But when touching on it then it occurred to me thatthe whole- sale confinement of the Ultonian braves at one and the same time must imply that the births of their children, or at any rate those of them that were to be reared, took place (in some period or other of the history of their race) at a particular season of the year, namely about the beginning of winter. So I appealed to a distinguished anthropologist on the question of the existence of any evidence to a pairing season among any savage nations of the present day ; but as I got no answer from him in the affirmative, I cannot have made myself understood. At any rate that is my inference now after seeing Westermarck's work on the History of Human Marriage, and after reading especially his second chapter entitled "A Human Pairing Season in Primitive Times" For there I find a considerable body of evidence in point, together with a summary treatment of the whole question. 1 Stiabo, ii, 165, ' Diodorus, v, 14.

Tlie Chairman's Address. 157

man who has the consort of his companionship with him would be so much the less likely to attempt the ruin of their girls and to receive the affection of their wives. Then, moreover, they were anxious and afraid lest the death of Ciichulainn should take place early, so they were desirous for that reason to give him a wife in order that he might leave an heir ; for they knew that it was from himself that his re-birth would be." That is what one reads in the nth century copy of the ancient manu- script of the Book of the Dun Coiv^ and this atavistic belief, I need scarcely say, is well known elsewhere to the anthropologist, as you will find at the beginning of Dr. Tylor's second volume on Primitive Culture. He there mentions the idea as familiar to American Indians, to various African peoples, to Maori and the aborigines of Australia, to Cheremiss Tatars and Lapps. Among such nations the words of Don Difegue to his victorious son the Cid could hardly fail to be construed in a literal sense, when he exclaims,

" ... ton illustre audace

Fait bien revivre en toi les heros de ma race."

Here it occurs to me that I have been for some time encroaching on the domain of one of my fellow-presidents ; so I will come back to my own, and mark my retreat with the observation that the instance I have just given is not the only one in Irish literature, since a very remarkable version of the story of Cuchulainn's birth makes that hero himself no other in point of pedigree than an earlier personage born anew, namely the god Lug.^ Here again what I want to know is, whether this is Aryan, or, more exactly speaking, whether it was Aryan when the ancestors of those Aryans who made themselves a home in Ireland branched off from the family of men of their own stock. It is not only hard to guess how many of the stories about Ciichulainn refer to a historical person, but also to know to what race the rest of them may have belonged, to the Celts or to the aborigines. Is there

1 Seefol. 121*.

2 An abstract ot the story will be found in my Hibbert Lectures, p. 502 : I mention this in order to call attention to the remarkable similarity between the Irish story and a Lapp one mentioned by Dr. Tylor, ii, 4, where he appends a reference to Klemm's Cuiturgeschichte, iii, 77-

158 Mythological Section.

anything in the Aryan system of proper-names to favour the idea that the atavistic beUef in question was Aryan ? I cannot say that I think so. The Ciichulainn myth may possibly turn out to have been originally a story about Somebody : I do not mind that, provided it can also be ascertained to what race that Some- body belonged. One need have no ill-feeling towards Mr. Some- body, but our anthropologists may rest assured that, when they have run a supposed myth home to him, it will more than double one's interest in him if they can add whether he was Aryan or Iberian, or whatever else the racial predicate may chance to be.

The other source of mythological difficulties to which I referred is the mixture of myth and story in one legend, for there are no infallible means of disentangling a web of myth and history. Of course there are a few nature-myths of such transparence as to be of no difficulty and little interest ; but far oftener it is impossible to expel the lurking doubt that we are dealing not wholly with a myth, but, to a greater or less extent, with a story about a man or woman : for there is no denying that the names of historical men have served as focuses for myths, ^^'hat, for example, about Arthur and his entourage 2 There probably was a historical man Arthur, but who can tell how many of the stories about him come from history and how many from the storehouse of myth and imagination ? I mention Arthur, as I have quite recently incurred the charge of having neglected the historical side of his character. The charge is perfectly fair, as I never dreamt that I was writing history. What grieves me, however, is that I see no prospect of anybody ever being able to separate myth and history in the Arthurian legend.

I have no book just now writing or printing : I am free there- ■ fore to confess to you, that I for one cannot tell in many cases which I could instance, whether a myth is solar or other, or whether it may not be a story about Somebody. The moral is that men in my state of mind, men busied, in short, with studies which, owing to a rapid accumulation of fresh facts or the blossoming of new ideas, are in a shifting condition, should abstain from writing books or anything longer than a magazine article now ■ and then. Even such minor writings should be understood to be liable to be consumed by a great bonfire once a year, say on November Eve. This should clear the air of mistaken hypotheses,

Tlie Chairman's Address. 159

whether of language, of myth, or of history, and also serve to mark the commencement of the ancient year. The business of selecting the papers to be saved from the burning might be dele- gated to an academy constituted, roughly speaking, on the lines of Plato's aristocracy of letters. Such academy, once in the enjoyment of its existence, would find plenty of work besides the inquisitional business which I have suggested : it should for example be invested with summary jurisdiction over any fond parents who venture to show any unreasonable anxiety to save their mental progeny from the . annual bonfire : the best of that class of writers should be set to indite original verse or sing songs ; and as for the rest, some of them might be told off to gesticulate to the gallery and some to administer the consolations of platitude to stragglers tired of the march of science. There is a mass of other useful work which would naturally devolve on such an academy : I should be happy, if time permitted, to go through the particulars one by one, but let a single instance suffice : the academy might relieve us of the painful necessity of having seriously to consider any further the proposal that professors found professing after sixty should be summarily shot ! This will serve to indicate the kind of work which might advantageously be entrusted to the august body which I have roughly sketched.

There are some branches of learning in the happy position of having no occasion for such a body academical. Thus, if a man will have it that the earth is flat, as flat in fact as some people do their utmost to make it, " he will most likely", as a great writer in the Saturday Review put it some years ago, " make few converts, and will be forgotten after at most a passing laugh from scientific men. If a man insists that the sum of two and two is five, he will probably find his way to a lunatic asylum, as the economy of society is, in a manner, self-acting. So with regard to him who carries his craze into the more material departments of chemistry, he may be expected to blow out his own eyes, for the chemical Nemesis never leaves her minutest molecule unavenged. " But", to quote again from the Saturday Review, if that man's " craze had been historical or philological" — and above all if it had been mytho- logical — "he might have put forth notions quite as absurd as the notion that the earth is flat, and many people would not have been in the least able to see that they were absurd. If any scholar had

i6o Mythological Section.

tried to confute him we should have heard of ' controversies' and ' differences of opinion'." In fact, the worst that happens to the false prophet who rises in these sciences is that he has usually a multitude of enthusiastic followers. The machinery is, so to say, not self-acting, and it is therefore we want the help of an academy. But even supposing that academy established, no one need feel alarmed lest opportunities enough could no more be found for cultivating the example of the early Christians who were able to " suffer fools gladly".

Personally, however, I should be against doing anything in a hurry, and the establishment of an academy invested with the wholesome powers briefly suggested might conveniently wait a little : my own feeling is that almost any time in the twentieth century would do better than this year or the next. Mean- while we must be content to entrust the fortunes of our study to the combined forces of science and common-sense. Judging by what they have done for it in recent years, there is no reason to be uneasy with regard to the time to come, for it is as true to-day as when it was first written, that the best of the prophets of the Future is the Past.


Qu'est-ce que I'^popee ? L'^popee est, avant tout, une oeuvre litteraire. On s'accorde cependant pour reconnaitre qu'elle n'est pas compl^tement oeuvre d'imagination. Le fond de I'epopee, son point de depart, est toujours quelqu'ancieiine tradition dont le souvenir s'est conserve par des raisons que nous n'avons pas d'ailleurs a rechercher ici. Cette tradition s'est transmise orale- ment ; en passant de bouche en bouche, elle a pu subir des modifications ; le sens qu'elle avait dans I'origine a pu se perdre ; toutefois les alterations n'ont jamais et6 volontaires et ne sauraient etre tr^s importantes. Le recit s'est surtout allonge, chaque narrateur se croyant autorise a le ddvelopper, jusqu'au moment oil le travail purement litteraire d'un ou de plusieurs auteurs est venu lui donner une extension considerable.

En ce qui concerne la nature de la tradition qui a forme le debut de I'^popde, deux systfemes sont depuis longtemps en presence. L'dcole evhemdriste soutient que le fond de I'epopee appartient a I'histoire, que les personnages qui en sont les acteurs sont des personnages rdels, qui ont accompli des oeuvres extra- ordinaires ou ont rendu des services signales a leur pays, et dont la reconnaissance populaire a garde la m^moire. L'dcole naturaliste croit que I'^pop^e n'est que le d^veloppement de quelqu'ancien mythe, d'une Idgende que les gdn&ations suc- cessives se sont racont^es les unes aux autres, comme une histoire lointaine de leurs premiers ages, mais dont toute r&lite est exclue. Ce qui semble justifier la premifere opinion, c'est que les auteurs du recit portent quelquefois des noms qui ont ^te portes par des personnages ou des populations historiques, et que certains lieux sont ddsignes par des denominations que Ton trouve dans le g^ographie terrestre. On ne saurait pourtant considdrer cet argument que comme une simple presomption. II resterait a


1^2 Mythological Section.

rechercher si ces noms historiques ne se sont pas introduits poste- rieurement a la place de noms fabuleux, ou si le peuple qui a crde le mythe n'a pas donnd k des Stres at a des lieux reels des noms qui appartenaient aux personnages et aux localites de sa legende.

La theorie naturaliste nous parait devoir etre acceptee. EUe seule peut expliquer le cote merveilleux des compositions epiques, et Ton ne doit pas d'ailleurs oublier que I'histoire ne commence que trfes tardivement, dans un dtat de civilisation deja avancee, chez les populations parvenues a I'dtat s^dentaire. On a dit que la tradition dpique s'^tait formde sous I'impulsion de Torgueil national ou de la haine vivace que peut inspirer une lutte longue et sanglante contre une race enneniie ; cependant le sentiment de la nationality et du patriotisme, tels que nous les concevons aujourd'hui, n'existe pas chez les peuplades sauvages et nomades. La guerre est souvent leur existence normale ; mais, quand la detaite n'ambne pas leur extermination ou leur servitude, elles se retirent du combat dans quelque region oil elles sont a I'abri de leurs adversaires, et oublient promptement le pass^. Le souvenir de leurs batailles gagndes ou perdues ne depasse guere la genera- tion qui fut acteur dans la lutte.

La Grece nous a laissd trois grandes Epopees : I'lliade, rOdyssee et I'expedition des Argonautes. Aucune d'elles n'a pour fondement un fait historique. Tel n'^tait pas I'avis des anciens qui avaient meme assign^ des dates approximatives aux evenements immortalises par leur pobtes ; mais la critique a fait justice de cette pr^tendue chronologie. L'exploit fameux de Jason, la conquete de la toison d'or, est, sans contradiction pos- sible, un fait aussi fabuleux que le sont les heros qui y sont mflds. Bien qu'on Fait localise dans la geographie rdelle sur les rives orientales de la mer Noire, ce qui a permis au narrateur de faire promener le navire Argo le long de toutes les cotes connues de son temps entre la Grfece et la Colchide, on n'a jamais pu expliquer par oil Jason dtait revenu et on a ^t^ reduit i imaginer une inter- pretation symbolique dont la refutation est actuellement inutile.

La prise de Troie, qui fut la legende la plus populaire chez les Hellenes, a egalement une origine mythique. Si Ton crut y reconnaitre posterieurement un fait reel, c'est qu'il exista probable- ment une Troie reelle pres de la cote d'Asie. Tous les incidents

PloiX. — Le My the de I'Odyss^e. 163

de Taction y furent rapportds. On oublia qu'elle s'dtait passee dans le pays du mythe. La concordance des noms de la geographie fabuleuse et des noms de la geographic terrestre fut la cause de la confusion. Le pofete put alors faire intervenir dans la lutte toutes les populations europeennes ou asiatiques qu'il connaissait et faire montre de science geographique. Mais tous les soldats qui composent les armees d' Agamemnon et de Priam ne scrvent qu'a remplir le cadre dans lequel se meuvent les chefs. Ceux-ci, quand ils ne sont pas de vrais dieux, sont des heros, c'est-a-dire des dieux legferement modifies, et toujours de race divine, par consequent des etres fabuleux. Le pofete a reuni sous les murs de Troie tous les personnages dont les legendes de son pays racontaient les exploits, de meme que I'auteur des Argonautiques les embarqua sur le navire Argo.

La troisifeme Epopee, I'Odyss^e, qui est le sujet de ce travail, a sa source egalement dans le mythe. Ulysse est de la race des heros, comme Th^see, Persde, CEdipe. Ses aventures sont toutes du domaine de la fable. Les evenements rapportes dans le poeme ne different pas de ceux que racontent les autres legendes de la Grfece ou celles des autres peuples aryens. C'est ce que je vais essayer de demontrer en recherchant quel est le mythe qui forme la base de I'Odyssee, quels sont ceux que le pofete y a joints pour donner du developpement a son oeuvre, quelles sont les parties de cette oeuvre que Ton doit considerer comme le produit de I'imagination personnelle, soit de I'auteur qui a mis la derniere main a I'Odyssee ou de ceux par la bouche desquels le recit avait passe anterieurement.

Le sujet de I'Odyssee peut se resumer en quelques mots. Un personnage de famille princiere, un roi, est dloigne de son pays. La reine son epouse, qu'il a quitt^e depuis une vingtaine d'annees, ne sait ce qu'il est devenu. De nombreux pretendants aspirent a sa main, s'effor^ant de lui persuader que son mari doit etre mort et qu'elle ne doit plus compter sur son retour. Mais, au moment oil elie va se trouver contrainte de faire un choix parmi eux, son mari revient, extermine les pretendants et reprend sa place dans le lit conjugal. Le roi se nomme Ulysse, et sa royaute s'^tend sur File d'lthaque. La reine est Penelope, la fille d'Icare.

Reduite a ces termes, I'histoire dont il s'agit ne revfele aucun caractere mythique. Si nous parvenons cependant a demontrer

M 2

164 Mythological Section.

que les personnages du poeme sont fabuleux, que les lieux qui servant de theatre a Faction le sont egalement, il est difficile de supposer que les dvenements sont r^els. Cherchons d'abord si le sujet de I'Odyssee a quelqu'analogie avec les autres legendes aryennes et en quoi il en difffere.

Les contes aryens se terminent gdndralement par un mariage. Le principal personnage est souvent un roi ou un fils de roi, et il epouse une princesse. Tantot il la rencontre fortuitement ; quelquefois aussi il quitte son pays avec I'intention arret^e de la trouver. II a su qu'il existait quelque part une jeune fiUe belle comme le jour, sup^rieure en beaute a toutes les femmes de ce monde, et il se met en tete de I'^pouser. La contree qu'elle habite lui est inconnue, il en ignore souvent le chemin. II s'^gare dans la route, se voit expose a d'assez graves dangers ; mais il rencontre toujours quelques etres mythiques qui lui viennent en aide, le tirent du pdril, le mettent sur la bonne voie et, grace a leurs conseils, il rdussit a atteindre la demeure de la princesse. II lui faut encore conqudrir sa main que se disputent parfois de nombreux prdtendants. II I'obtient en remportant la victoire dans une de ces joutes qui etaient I'amusement familier des anciens, a la course, au tir, ou a la lutte.

L'histoire d'Ulysse ne differe pas autant qu'on pourrait le croire d'un conte de ce genre. Le h^ros part de Troie pour aller a la recherche de Pdnelope. Qu'il connaisse ou non la direction a suivre pour aller k Ithaque, au commencement du po^me il est complfetement €gzx€. Comme il arrive souvent au personnage du conte, il est tombd au pouvoir d'une sorcifere (Calypso) qui le retient prisonnier et n'a plus aucun moyen de continuer sa route. L'intervention des dieux, c'est-a-dire des etres mythiques, est necessaire pour le tirer de cette situation. Parvenu enfin a Ithaque, ses epreuves ne sont pas termindes. Pendlope ne le reconnatt pas et il doit la conqu6rir de nouveau. De guerre lasse et pour en finir avec les poursuites des pr^tendants, elle a promis sa main a celui qui pourra bander certain arc merveilleux et lancer une fleche a travers douze anneaux. Un mortel ordinaire ne saurait accomplir un tel exploit, et Ulyssse seul, sem.blable au heros du conte, reussit a manier I'arme surnaturelle.

Le fond des deux rdcits est presque identique. La difference capitale consiste en ceci : le personnage du conte est toujours

Ploix. — Le Mythe de I'Odyss^e. 165

jeune et ne connait pas encore celle qu'il dpousera. Ulysse, au contraire, est mari^, et va retrouver une (Spouse qui lui a dej^ donn^ un fils. Mais il n'est pas impossible de trouver quelque type de conte qui se rapprochierait peut-etre davantage de I'epopee homerique. Dans certaines traditions, le heros fianc^ ou ddja marie est separe de Theroine par quelque circonstance particuliere. Celle-ci Toublie et va accepter un nouvel ^poux. Au moment ou cette nouvelle union est sur le point de s'accomplir, le h^ros, qui a pu aprfes de longs efforts retrouver le chemin de la ville ou du palais qu'habite Th^roine, se fait reconnaitre d'elle et reprend sa fiancee ou sa femme. Nous signalerons encore deux traits de ce genre de recits. Premiferement, le heros revSt quelquefois un deguisement pour p^ndtrer aupres de celle qu'il aime. En second lieu, la reconnaissance des deux amants s'opfere par des moyens indirects.

Dans rOdyssde, Pdnelope n'a pas oublie Ulysse, mais celui-ci entre aussi dans le palais sous un deguisement. L'auteur nous apprend, il est vrai, qu' Athena I'a metamorphose en mendiant pour qu'il ne puisse etre reconnu par les pretendants ; on peut croire aussi qu'il y a la une reminiscence de quelqu'ancien mythe. Meme alors que la deesse lui a rendu, aprfes le meurtre des pre- tendants, sa beaute et sa jeunesse, Penelope ne le reconnait pas encore. II est necessaire qu'il se revele en lui rappelant des faits connus d'eux seuls. Et alors il lui d6crit le lit temoin de leurs premieres amours ; il raconte comment il I'a construit de ses propres mains et comment aucune main mortelle ne serait capable de le d^placer.

Les documents nous manquent pour decider si, dans la legende originaire, Ulysse avait €\.€ separe de Penelope et avait du la conqu^rir de nouveau. Nous pencherions pour la negative. Ce qui semble trfes probable, c'est que le h^ros s'etait mis en route a la recherche de sa future Spouse, qu'il avait ete arrete en chemiri par Calypso, que I'intervention de quelqu'etre mythique I'avait tire des mains de la deesse, qu'un navire Ph&cien I'avait ensuite conduit a Ithaque ou il avait gagne la main de la fille d'Icare par son adresse au tir de Tare. Telle etait vraisembla- blement la version primitive. On peut sans doute objecter que, dans cette hypothfese, Ulysse ne serait devenu roi d'lthaque que par son mariage. Mais il faut reconnaitre que ce qui se passe

1 66 Mythological Section.

dans cette ile est fort Strange. La royaute est un gouvernement hdrdditaire. Or le pfere d'Ulysse, Laerte, est encore vivant. Pourquoi ne rfegne-t-il pas ? Ulysse a un fils, Telemaque, qui pourrait r^gner h. sa place en son absence, ou, s'il est trop jeune, son grand-pfere pourrait gouverner sous son nom. Hombre nous dit que Telemaque doit heriter des biens de son pfere, mais la royaute n'en fait pas partie. La question de la succession au trone est fort obscure. Penelope n'a aucun droit a la royautd et cependant les pr^tendants n'aspirent &, sa main que pour devenir les souverains de File. II est done permis de croire qu'Ulysse ne Test 6galement devenu que par son mariage. L'auteur du pofeme a dtl sentir la difficult^, et pour sortir d'embarras il rapporte que les dieux seuls auront a decider a qui appartiendra la couronne. Les choses ne se passaient pas ainsi dans la Grfece r&lle.

Le mythe a dfl subir de nombreuses alterations ; nous allons en chercher les raisons. L'Odyssfe est une oeuvre dminemment litt^raire. Si le fond en est mythique, l'auteur a dO donner libre carrifere ^ son imagination pour faire avec une simple legende un pofeme qui comprend vingt-quatre chants. S'il a puisd dans la masse des traditions grecques, les details qu'il leur a emprunt& ont ete fondus dans un plan qu'il a lui-meme congu et dont toutes les parties doivent s'enchainer d'une fagon logique. Dans les contes, toutes les aventuresdu h^ros sont toujours anterieures a leur mariage qui est I'^venement final, aprfes quoi les deux dpoux n'ont plus qu'a se reposer dans les joies d'un bonheur ^ternel. L'epopde aussi devait done se terminer par le mariage du hdros ; mais le cas d'Ulysse pr^sentait une difficult^. Quand I'Odyssee futcomposee, I'lliade existait deja; toute la Grbce savait qu'Ulysse avait dte un des principaux acteurs dans la guerre de Troie. L'lliade le connait comme roi d'lthaque ou des iles voisines ; il avait done ddji ^pous^ P6ndlope. II n'y avait pas a s'inscrire en faux contre une opinion largement r6pandue. C'est done P^n^lope d^ja Spouse et mfere que le hdros ira retrouver, et ceci nous explique peut-etre les differences signages plus haut entre le r&it de I'Odyssee et les Idgendes ordinaires.

Contrairement a ce qui se passe habituellement, le h^ros ne part done pas de la maison paternelle pour courir les aventures. L'Odysde commencera au moment ou Ulysse se sdpare de I'armde grecque, ou plutot eile raronte son histoirc a partirde IL Ithaque

FLOIX.—Le Mythe de POdyssie. 167

est une ile, Troie est voisine du rivage de la mer, Ulysse s'embar- quera done pour retourner dans son royaume. C'est dans sa course maritime qu'il affrontera tous les dangers qui assaillent ordinairement sur terre le personnage du conte. Ses traversdes sent toujours malheureuses. Tous les monstres de la mer, les Sirfenes, Scylla, Charybde sont sur la route qu'il doit parcourir. S'il aborde quelque rivage, il rencontre les Kikones, les Loto- phages, les Cyclopes, les Lestrygons, c'est-a-dire toujours des races ennemies, et une dizaine d'ann^es s'^coulent avant qu'il ait le bonheur de revoir son pays.

Autant d'incidents ne sont pas gdndralement accumul6s dans une meme l^gende. Ainsi que nous I'avons fait remarquer, le mythe qui sert de base au pofeme devait conduire Ulysse a Ogygie (chez Calypso) et a Ithaque et peut-etre a Sch^rie chez les Ph&ciens. C'est pourquoi au commencement de I'Odyssde, Ulysse est 6.€]k prisonnier de Calypso. Toutes les aventures qui pr^- cbdent son arrivde a Ogygie sont inutiles a Taction et racontdes incidemment par le roi d'lthaque pendant son s6jour chez Alcinoiis, le roi des Phdaciens. Elles ont €t€ ajout&s par I'auteur. Elles sont d'ailleurs fabuleuses et le fond a dft en etre empruntd a la mythologie hellenique. Mais on peut se demander sous quelle forme elles s'y trouvaient. Devons-nous supposer que, de merae qu'Hdraklfes accomplissait un certain nombre d'exploits, ind^pen- dants les uns des autres, des traditions s^par6es attribuaient a Ulysse ces incidents de navigation, et que I'auteur a eu seulement la peine de les rdunir ? La chose est possible, mais ne parait pas probable. Nous croyons plutot que I'auteur, faisant montre d'drudition, s'est complu a promener son personnage dans toutes les localites maritimes fabuleuses dont parlait la l^gende et qui dtaient habitues par des ennemis des dieux, ou ce qui est la meme chose, des ennemis du heros.'

Les quatre premiers chants de TOdyssfe sont remplis par le voyage que fait Teldmaque pour chercher des nouvelles d'Ulysse. lis sont dans leur integrite le r^sultat de Timagination du

1 La descente d'Ulysse aux enfers qui comprend le chant xi, est certainement de son invention. II a voulu qu'a I'instar d'He'rakles et d'autres heros Ulysse visitat le royaume d'Hades et il a profite de cette visite pour nous faire passer en revue les chefs qui ont combattu .sous les murs de Troie et les personnages fameux dont la legende peuplait le s^jour des morts.

1 68 Mythological Section.

narrateur. Dans la situation ou se trouve Pendlope, et lors meme qu'elle ne serait pas en lutte aux sollicitations des pr6tendants, un fils deja parvenu ^ I'adolescence peut, et doit, s'enqudrir du sort de son pfere. S'il sait qu'il existe quelque part des amis de ce pfere en mesure de lui fournir quelques renseignements, il est natural qu'il aille leur faire visite. Tdldmaque va done a Pylos et k Lac^d^mone voir Nestor et M6ndlas qui ont quittd le sol de Troie en meme temps qu'Ulysse. Dans certains contes aryens, on peut noter aussi des exemples d'enfants allant a la recherche de leurs parents disparus. Mais ils les retrouvent toujours, tandis que le voyage de Tel^maque est sans r^sultat utile. Nestor et Mdndlas ne savant rien du sort de son pbre. Le roi de Lacd- d^mone peut seulement apprendre a T^l^maque qu'Ulysse doit etre encore vivant et qu'au dire de Protee, un de ces personnages mythiques qui connaissent la present et I'avenir, il est retenu dans rile de Calypso. Le seul intdret de I'incident est de fournir au pofete I'occasion de raconter le meurtre d'Agamemnon par Lgisthe et de reparler de la guerre de Troie qui ^tait le sujet favori des auditeurs hell^niques. Les Episodes de cette guerre fameuse font d'ailleurs le sujet de toutes les conversations et de tous les chantes des Acedes d'un bout a I'autre du po^me. Nous devons croire que les Grecs ne se lassaient pas de les entendre, comme les enfants qui aiment a entendre toujours raconter les memes histoires et y prennent plus de plaisir qu'^ des recits nouveaux.

Nous devons a I'auteur de I'Odyssde non seulement I'arrange- ment des faits mythiques, mais tous les ddveloppements qu'il leur a donnds. Ces ddveloppements sont considerables. Toute la partie qui est posterieure a I'arriv^e d'Ulysse a Ithaque, c'est-a- dire toute la seconde moitid du pofeme, n'emprunte au mythe que quelques ddtails accessoires. Nous retrouvons probablement la une peinture fort intdressante des moeurs, des habitudes, des sen- timents des populations au milieu desquelles le pohe a vecu. Le recit ne reste pas moins fabuleux parce que les personnages mis en scfene n'ont jamais appartenu au monde r&l. Tous ceux qui jouent un role dans cette epopde sont des etres mythiques et les lieux tdmoins des dv^nements et leurs habitants le sont ^galement. Nous allons essayer de le ddmontrer.

Voici dans I'ordre chronologique la liste des Heux visitds par

Ploix.— Z« My the de VOdyssh. 169

Ulysse. De Troie il est all6 chez les Kikones, puis chez las Lotophages, chez les Cyclopes. II s'est arrets dans Tile habitde par ifcole. Puis sa destinde I'a conduit chez les Lsestrygons at da la dans I'ile d'Aiaib la demeure de Circd. II est descendu dans Tempire des morts. II a entendu le chant des Sirenes, pass6 prfes de Scylla et de Charybde ; il a vu las boeufs du soleil dans File Thrinakife. La tempete le jata ansuite sur le rivaga d'Ogygia, I'ile de Calypso, de la il gagna I'lle des Phdaciens at ceux-ci le ramenferant k Ithaqua.

Anciens et modernas, tous caux qui ont cru a I'existence d'Ulysse et a la r^alitd da ses courses maritimes, se sont afforcds de tracer la route de son navire sur la carte de la Mediterrande et d'assigner aux noms da la g^ographia homdrique des positions d^termin^es. La tentative est restee infructueuse. De tous les noms qua nous vanons de citer, daux seulement figurent sur nos cartes g(5ographiques : le point de depart et la point d'arriv^e, c'est-a-dire Troie at Ithaqua. On peut cartainement an tirar un argument en faveur de la solution evh^merista de la question. II ne serait cependant pas ddcisif, car les Gracs ont fait souvent descandra les dieux sur la terre. Mais an outre la Troie homeriqua n'a cartainement de commun avec la Troie asiatique que son nom, et I'lthaque de I'Odyssee (nous y reviendrons tout a I'heure) n'est pas davantage la petite ila da ca nom qui fait aujourd'hui partie du groupe des lies loniennas.

Non seulement les lieux sont mythiques, mais aussi las peuples ou les races dans la pays desquels le heros atterrit ; tous les etres avec lesquals il se trouve an rapport sont fabuleux. On ne saurait trop appelar I'attention sur ca fait. C'est la un point de rapprochement, int6ressant a signaler, avec nos contes populaires, ou le heros, perdu dans la foret, ne rencontre jamais que des etres surnaturals. La foret traditionnelle est en dehors du monde et aucun mortel ne saurait y vivre, sauf le heros (mais originaire- mant il n'etait pas de race humaine). Ulysse n'ast pas dans la foret, il est dans le Pontos (le mot revient a chaque instant dans la pobme) et le Pontos reprdsenta, comma la foret, la region des nuages et de I'obscurite. Quand les anciens ont cru la theatre du mythe sur la terre, ils ont dd confondre le Pontos avec la M6diterran6e (ils ont mfime oublid qu'ils avaient donn6 la nom a la Mer Noire). Mais le Pontos est une mer mythiqua, identique

I70 Mythological Section.

a rOkdanos ; c'est le grand bassin liquide que rhomme primitif suppose exister tout autour de la terra, charge de fournir une eau indpuisable aux nu^es que Ton voit nionter dans le del de tous les points de I'horizon. C'est k ce bassin extraterrestre que le mythe donnait les noms de Pontes ou d'Okdanos. Toutes les localitds visitdes par Ulysse sont dans le Pontes, ce qui con- stitue ddja une prdsomption en faveur de leur subjectivity. Le navire qui porte Ulysse ne quitte le Pontos que pour le conduire dans le pays des Morts. La Idgende plagait le royaume d'Hadfes au deli de I'Ok&nos ; Ulysse pour y parvenir dut done quitter le Pontos et passer dans les eaux de I'Ok&nos. Le pofete mit son rdcit en conformity avec I'opinion regue ; mais il est certain que les deux bassins sont contigus et on avait oublid qu'ils dtaient identiques. Ulysse dans le Pontos, c'est le hdros du conte dans le pays de la nuit. Nous devons cependant signaler un point de dissemblance avec le rdcit ordinaire. Le hdros du conte pdnfetre seul dans la region mythique, tandis qu'Ulysse y navigue avec de nombreux compagnons. Le plan de I'Odyssde dtant donnd, tel que nous le connaissons, il n'en pouvait etre autrement.

Le personnage du conte est un adolescent qui ne salt ou il va ; il quitte pour la premiere fois la maison paternelle, courant le monde sans but ddtermind. Le pofeme prend son hdros lorsqu'il est ddji roi ; Ulysse est alld combattre sous les murs de Troie ; il a emmend avec lui des navires et des soldats. La guerre finie, il doit rentrer dans son pays avec ses troupes, et comma il fait la route forcdment par mar, tous s'embarquent sur laurs navires pour faire ensemble la traversde. On remarquera seulement que dans la partie du mythe qui constitue le fond du pofeme et qui com- mence dans I'ile de Calypso, Ulysse est seul at n'a plus de com- pagnons. Quand I'auteur nous le reprdsente Ik, seul mortel avec la ddesse et ses servantes, il se conforme probablement au rdcit Idgendaire. Pour axpliquer I'isolement de son hdros, il prend soin, dans I'histoire des peregrinations de ce personnage antdriaures k son arrivde k Ogygie, de faire tuer ou manger quelques uns de ses compagnons sur les cotes inhospitaliferes ou ils abordant et de faire dispersar ses navires par la tempete. Dans une dernifere bourrasque, la foudre tombe sur son dernier batiment et il dchappe seul a la Le voilk dfes lors replace dans la position

Ploix. — Le My the de I'Odyssie. 171

du heros du conte, et le pofete probablement sans en avoir con- science, se met d'accord avec la tradition suivant laquelle aucun mortel (sauf celui qui est favorise par les dieux) ne peut sortir vivant du pays mythique.

Suivons maintenant Ulysse dans ses courses maritimes. A I'exception des Kikones, sur le compte desquels I'Odyss^e ne nous fournit aucun renseignement, il est facile de montrer que tous les etres qu'il rencontre et tous les lieux qu'il parcourt sont fabuleux. Personne ne saurait croire aux Lotophages, un peuple qui se nourrit exclusivement d'une fleur. Cette fleur elle-meme, en raison de ses propri^t6s merveilleuses, est ^galement sur- naturelle. C'est la fleur qui produit I'oubli absolu du passd ; I'auteur a oubli^ de nous dire si les Lotophages en ressentent les memes effets et de reflechir a la singulifere existence qui devait etre le r^sultat de ce genre d'alimentation. I,e lotos est ^videm- ment, sous une autre forme, I'eau du Lethd que les morts dtaient censes boire avant de pdnetrer dans I'enfer. Puisque les morts boivent le Lethd, c'est a eux que convient I'dpithfete de Lotophages, et le mythe nous transporte ici dans le royaume d'Hadfes. Aprfes les Lotophages, Ulysse visite la terre des Cyclopes. Ceux-ci appartiennent incontestablement a la mythologie. II n'est sans doute pas ndcessaire (et ce serait d'ailleurs sortir du cadre de cette ^tude) de discuter I'opinion qui en a fait une race reelle a laquelle seraient dus un certain nombre de monuments et dont I'un des premiers sdjours aurait €\.€ la Sicile. Si la Sicile, comme on I'a suppose, devait etre identifiee avec I'ile Thrinakife de la legende, les Cyclopes ne I'habitaient pas, puisque dans rOdyssde, Thrinakife est File des troupeaux du soleil. Le pobte ne confond pas les Cyclopes avec les mortels ; il les ddpeint comme des grants, des monstres qui ont un ceil unique au milieu du front, ne ressemblant nullement aux hommes qui se nourrissent de pain, mais pareils a des montagnes boisees.

L'ile voisine de la terre des Cyclopes, oil Ulysse atterrit d'abord, est inhabitde. La description de son port ou les navires peuvent en tout temps demeurer en sdcurite sans etre retenus par des ancres ou par des amarres, prouve qu'elle est situde dans la region du merveilleux.

De meme File d'Eole ne doit pas etre dans la geographic reelle. Eole est un dieu, et moins que tout autre dieu, il ne saurait habiter

172 Mythological Section.

la terre. II nous envoie le vent des extrdmitds de I'horizon et demeure avec les nu^es, 1^ ou nous les voyons se lever pour envahir le del. L'ile dont il est le souverain est dans le Pontos, au bout du monde. L'Odyssee rapporte qu'elle etait entour^e d'un mur d'airain et d'une ceinture de rochers impendtrables. Ce detail est certainement emprunte \ la Idgende, et nous trouvons ici probablement, sous deux formes difKrentes, I'expression d'une meme idde : mur et rochers sont la repr&entation des nuages et t^moignent que File est situde dans la zone de Tobscurit^. On pent d'ailleurs reconnaitre I'origine mythique a rillogicit6 du rdcit. L'ile est inaccessible et Ulysse y aborde deux fois sans que le pobte ait pris soin d'expliquer par ou il avait passd.

De l'ile d'Eole Ulysse est jetd sur les cotes de la Laestrygonie T^l^pyle. Le sens du nom de la Laestrygonie est obscur, mais ' I'^pithfete t^ldpyle indique qu'elle est situde a la porte et a I'ex- tr^mit^ du monde. Le po^te n'ignore pas que ce pays est en dehors de la terre ; c'est la que les chemins du jour sont proches des chemins de la nuit, ce qui signifie clairement qu'il s'agit du point de I'horizon oil nous voyons le jour et la nuit se succ^der. Des Laestrygones, I'Odyssde nous apprend d'ailleurs pen de chose, lis sont anthropophages, comme tous les monstres du mythe, et ressemblent probablement a I'dpouse de leur chef Antiphates qui est grande comme une montagne. Nous avons vu les meraes caractferes attribu^s aux Cyclopes. C'est la meme race mythique sous un nom different.

Transportons nous maintenant avec Ulysse dans l'ile de Circ^. Ici nous n'avons aucune peine a reconnaitre un des incidents de nos contes. Le heros de nos traditions, egare dans la foret et ne sachant vers quel point se diriger, aper^oit tout i coup une fumde ou une petite lumifere, signe de la demeure de quelqu'etre vivant, vers laquelle il porte ses pas. La habite quelque ddmon ou quelque sorciere qui metamorphose en animaux ceux qui ont le malheur de pto^trer chez elle. Le hdros subirait le meme sort si quelque personnage mythique ne se trouvait a point sur sa route pour I'avertir du danger et lui fournir le moyen d'&happer aux effets du sortilfege. Ulysse est dans la meme situation. II est ^gar^. " Nous ne savons," dit il a ses compagnons, " ou est le couchant, ou le levant, ou Helios se Ifeve sur la terre pour eclairer les hommes, ni de quel cote il se couche." Alors il monte sur

Ploix.— Z^ Mythe de VOdyssk. 173

une hauteur et apergoit la fumee qui s'elfeve au milieu d'une foret ^paisse de chenes. Cette fumee s'6chappe de la demeure de Circe. Circe dans le poeme est encore une d^esse. Dans certains contes ou le heros a deux frferes nous voyons egalement ceux-ci pr6c6der le h^ros et tomber au pouvoir de la sorcifere. Ulysse alors, pareil au h^ros du conte, tente a son tour I'aventure ; mais il rencontre a temps le dieu Hermbs qui lui donne un antipoison (la plante violy) et qui lui indique le moyen d'^chapper au sort que ses pr^decesseurs ont subi. Circ6 est impuissante a le mdtamorphoser, et il peut meme la contraindre a rendre a ses compagnons leur forme humaine.

Ulysse n'en reste pas moins prisonnier dans File, et nous trouvons ici plusieurs mythes mdlang^s. Sa captivite est douce, puisqu'il partage le lit de la deesse ; elle dure un an, intervalle ordinaire de la captivite du heros des contes tomb6 entre les mains d'un etre demoniaque. Isolee dans son ile, au milieu des flots, Circe ressemble consid^rablement a la nixe aquatique des Germains qui entraine les mortels au fond des eaux pour en faire ses epoux. Sa descendance paternelle (le pofeme dit qu'elle est fille d 'Helios) semble la ranger dans la categorie des lumineux; mais sa mere est une Oc&nide, ses servantes sont les filles des sources et des fleuves. Nous sommes ici dans le monde des personifications des eaux.

Pour operer ses metamorphoses, Circe emploie en meme temps un breuvage et une baguette. L'auteur aurait pu se contenter d'un seul de ces moyens. Mais les deux objets sont bien connus des folk-loristes. Athena et Hermfes possedent la baguette magique qui leur permet de transformer a leur gre les hommes et les choses. Dans les contes aryens il est question de sources ou d'eaux courantes ou celui qui s'abreuve est metamorphose en bete.

Le voyage d'Ulysse aux regions infernales qui forme le sujet du xi= chant de I'Odyssee n'appartient probablement pas au mythe originaire. L'auteur a voulu que son personnage partageant la gloire d'Herakles, ou d'autres h^ros qui, suivant la legende, etaient descendus dans I'empire d'Hades. Le XF chant a du etre ajoute posterieurement. Le retour d'Ulysse dans File de Circe, au commencement du chant suivant, semble le demontrer. Jus- que la la fatality ou, si Ton veut, le hasard a conduit Ulysse dans tous les lieux qu'il a visit^s ; c'est au contraire de propos ddlibere et a I'instigation de Circ^, qu'il aborde le royaume des morts.

174 Mythological Section.

La d^esse I'y envoie sous le pretexte de consulter le devin Tirdsias sur son sort futur, ce qui est complfetement inutile puis- qu'elle connait elle-meme I'avenir, en sa qualite de magicienne, et qu'au chant xiP elle renseigne le heros sur ses aventures ult^rieures beaucoup plus longuement et plus clairement que ne I'a fait Tir^sias. Mais le narrateur a trouve la un excellent moyen d'interesser son auditoire en lui reparlant encore de la guerre de Troie et de tous les mythes helleniques. II fait defiler successive- ment devant Ulysse, d'abord toutes les heroines fameuses de la l^gende, puis ses compagnons d'armes au sifege de Troie et enfin les principaux personnages que la tradition faisait vivre dans le pays des morts (Minos, Orion, Titye, Tantale, Sisyphe et Heraklfes).

II est sans doute inutile d'insister sur le caractere fabuleux de ces regions. Le peuple des Cimmdriens qui en est le voisin n'est pas plus r^el. II habite au dela de la limite oil le ciel est bleu (pour employer I'expression de nos contes), il est toujours en- veloppe de brouillards et de nu^es et jamais les rayons du soleil ne descendent sur ce pays.

De retour chez Circ^ Ulysse s'embarque de nouveau pour courir d'autres aventures. Son navire passe d'abord pres des Sirbnes, dont le chant mdlodieux attire irrdsistiblement ceux qui les entendent. C'est la un trait que Ton retrouve souvent dans les traditions aryennes. Les Grecs savaient que les hommes et les betes, charmds par les accents de la lyre d'Orph(^e, ne pouvaient plus quitter sa compagnie, et dans nos contes certains instruments merveilleux jouissent de la meme propriete.

Plus loin, dans une mer ou aucun navire, sauf le fabuleux Argo, n'a jamais pu pen^trer (par consequent dans une mer mythique) se dresse une roche escarpde dont le faite se perd dans une nuee eternelle ; sa surface est si bien polie que personne n'en a jamais atteint le sommet. N'est-ce pas la cette montagne de verre des contes germaniques dont on ne saurait gravir les pentes polies et dont le sommet est toujours convert de nuages ? Un etre demoniaque habite I'interieur de cette montagne, dans une grande caverne dont I'entr^e est parfois prec^dee d'un long corridor. De meme au centre de la roche homerique une caverne sombre, si profonde qu'une fleche lancee par la main d'un mortel n'en atteindrait pas I'extr^mite, est habitue par Scylla, un monstre k

Ploix. — Le My the de I'Odyss^e. 175

six tetes analogue a I'hydre de Lerne ou au dragon de nos traditions, et qui devore aussi les hommes et rugit com me un lion. Dans le voisinage de Scylla, un autre monstre, Charybde, engloutit tout ce qui passe a sa portee. Trois fois par jour elle absorbe toute I'eau de la mer qui I'entoure, et la revomit. Charybde et Scylla ne pouvaient gufere se preter a une explication evhemeriste ; on en a fait des symboles et on a suppos6 qu'ils re- presentaient des dcueils ou des tourbillons. On a meme tente de les localiser dans le d^troit de Messine ; mais bien que le nom de Charybde figure sur certaines cartes, il n'y a rien en cet endroit qui puisse justifier le texte hom^rique.

On ne comprend pas davantage comment on a cherchd dans la geographie terrestre I'lle de Thrinakife et on a cru la retrouver dans la Sicile. Thrinakie est la demeure des troupeaux du soleil. Le nombre des animaux, tant boeufs que brebis est de 350, ce qui nous represente presque exactement le nombre des jours de I'annee. Ces animaux sont immortels et leur nombre reste in- variable, car ils ne font pas de petits. II n'y a pas de mortels dans I'ile ; deux nymphes, Phaethousa et Lamp^tie, filles du soleil, font I'office de pasteurs. Les prodiges qui se manifestent au moment ou les compagnons d'Ulysse font rotir quelques uns de ces boeufs solaires tdmoigneraient encore, s'il en etait besoin, de leur nature merveilleuse. Mais ces troupeaux se retrouvent plusieurs fois dans le mythe hell^nique ; leur s^jour est au bout du monde, au levant et au couchant, car Homfere nous apprend que le soleil se plait a les voir chaque fois qu'il monte dans le del ou qu'il en descend. Si les anciens ont cru que I'ile Thrinakife etait la Sicile, c'est que la Sicile fut un moment pour eux I'extremite du monde lorsque le monde qu'ils connaissaient ne depassait pas I'Adria- tique.

Aprfes avoir quitt^ Thrinakife, Ulysse repasse prfes de Charybde qui engloutit son navire. Seul il echappe a la mer et se sauve sur quelques pieces de bois rejetdes par le monstre. Nous sommes alors dans le vrai mythe odysseen. Ulysse accroche aux debris de sa carene et a la merci des fiots nous rappelle le heros du conte jete a I'eau ou expose sur un bateau et ne sachant ce que la destinde lui prepare. Elle le conduit souvent dans la demeure de quelque sorcifere. De meme Ulysse aborde dans I'ile qu'habite Calypso et y est retenu prison nier. Calypso est

176 Mythological Section.

une doublure de Circd. Cette fiUe d' Atlas est une nymphe, done una personification de I'eau ou, ce qui est la meme chose, de I'obscurit^, ainsi que I'indique son nom (cf. KaKvTniu, cacher).

Elle chante comme les Sirfenes at salt tisser comme las nymphes. Elle habite une grotte ou une cavarne comme tous les etres demoniaques ; cette grotte est aussi au milieu d'une ^paisse foret. Dans la nom de son lie, Ogygie, qu'on doit rapprocher de celui d'Ogygfes, il doit y avoir un radical comportant la sens d'aau ou da nuage. Ulysse reste sept ans dans Ogygia ; c'est la dur^e frequente de la captivity du personnage du conte chez le diabla ou chez la sorcifere. Calypso voudrait le garder eternellemant avec elle, mais alia n'a pu reussir a lui faire oubher Penelope, at quand le temps fatal est accompli, elle rend sa liberte au heros at lui fournit les moyens de se construira un nouvaau navire.

Le mythe se repute toujours. Voici encore Ulysse seul au milieu du Pontos, livre a la merci des ondes. Une tempeta fracassa son navira at c'est a la nage qu'il atteint avec beaucoup da peine I'lla da Scherie ou demeurent les Pheaciens. Comme rile d'Eole, Schdrie est entouree de rochars de tous les cotes (car toutes les iles mythiques se rassemblent). Mais elle est arrosee par un fleuve qui a dtl se frayer un chemin a travers cas rochers pour se d^varser dans la mer, et Ulysse aborde a son embouchure.

L'epoux de Penelope approche du tarma de ses courses labori- euses; il a quitt6 definitivementlardgion habitue par les etrasdemoni- aques. Les Pheaciens sont des etres mythiques bianfaisants ; de la race qui rend service aux hdros de la legende at las aide a surmonter les difiEcultes da laurs entreprises. lis ne sont plus des personifications de la nuit ou das aaux, mais de la lumiere. lis ont certainement €\.€ des dieux, des dfevas, i I'origine. Divas et Pheaciens sont deux mots synonymes qui signifient les lumineux. L'un derive de la racine div, I'autre de la racine bha, qui ont le meme sens, " briller, dclairer".

La souvenir da I'identitd des deux races n'a pas complfetement disparu dans I'Odyssde. Le pofete nous apprand que les immortels sont parents des Pheaciens et qu'ils ont souvent partage leurs repas. Le roi des Pheaciens, Alkinoiis, est le petit-fils d'un dieu et le peuple regarde la reine Aretb, d'ailleurs parente de son mari, comme une d^esse. Leur pays n'a jamais 6te fr6quent6 par les mortals qui ne sauraient y pdn^trar. Une exception est faite

FhOlx.—Le Mythe de I'Odyssee. 177

pour Ulysse de meme que pour le heros de nos traditions, lorsqu'il s'agit d'atteindre les localites merveilleuses. Lorsqu'on lit la description de la citd ou du palais d'Alkinoiis, on se croit transporte dans le chateau d'or ou dans la villa splendide habitee par I'hero'ine de nos contes. Les portes sont d'or et les poteaux d'argent. Le seuil est d'airain argente et on voit au dessus une corniche d'or. Deux chiens d'or et d'argent, immortels, fabriqu^s par Hephaistos, gardent I'entree du palais. Des figures de jeunes hommes, en or, se dressent sur de beaux autels, portant dans leurs mains des torches allumees qui ^clairent pendant toute la nuit. Le palais resplendit d'un ^clat pareil a celui du soleil et de la lune. II est impossible de ne pas reconnaitre a ces details le pays de la lumifere, c'est-a-cire le s^jour des dieux.

Si, par une circonstance quelconque, le poeme s'arretait la et si la suite ne nous avait pas et^ conservde, si d'un autre cote nous n'avions pas et6 prevenus qu'Ulysse devait retourner a Ithaque et y retrouver Penelope, nous pourrions chercher a r^tablir le denouement, en nous aidant des recits analogues de nos traditions. Nous n'dprouverions aucun embarras. Le heros du conte trouve generalement a la fin un tr^sor et une epouse et il les trouve dans le pays de la lumiere. Nous supposerions done qu'arrivd dans File Sch^rie, il s'enrichit en ^pousant Nausicaa, la fille du roi, et devient roi a son tour. Peut-etre quelque ancienne legende 6tait le sujet d'une pareille aventure. Dans I'Odyssee, les Pheaciens enrichissent en effet Ulysse en lui faisant de magnifiques presents, ce qui rentre dans les conditions ordinaires du conte ou le principal personnage rencontre la fortune soit sur la route, soit lorsqu'il est arrivd au but; mais I'auteur ne peut faire epouser Nausicaa a un heros deja marie et pourtant Nausicaa est aussi belle que les deesses ; elle avoue a ses servantes qu'elle accepterait volontiers Ulysse pour mari et son pere Alkinoiis dit qu'il aurait vu cette union avec plaisir.

Mais le plan du pofeme exige qu'Ulysse retourne a Ithaque et alors, pour la premiere fois on peut hesiter a decider si le heros est sur la lerre ou en dehors du monde. La geographie terrestre connait une ile d'lthaque, situee sur la cote occidentale de la Grfece. C'est I'existence de cette ile qui a fait croire a I'existence d'Ulysse et a la realite de ses courses maritimes. Les Grecs avaient oublie qu'ils I'avaient ainsi d^nomm^e en souvenir d'une


178 Mythological Section.

lie mythique dont parlait la 16gende et que le heros etait primi- tivement le souverain d'une lie fabuleuse. Venus de I'Ouest et arrives en vue de la mer lonienne, ils se crurent au bout du raonde, sur les bords de leur Ocean mythique et y cherchbrent les lies dont il dtait question dans leurs traditions. Ils en trouvferent une qu'ils nommferent Ithaque.

Lorsqu'Homfere dit qu'Ithaque est vavvTrepta:^] iw aXi (la plus eloignde de la mer) Trpos \o<pov (du cote de I'obscuritd, c'est-a-dire du couchant), il emprunte cette situation a la Idgende. L'lthaque reelle n'est pas la plus dloignee au couchant, elle a derrifere elle Cephalldnie beaucoup plus importante. La realit6 et le mythe se cotoient dans le pofeme. Dans les premiers chants, dont le mythe est absent (comme je I'ai remarque) Tdlemaque parlant a Mdn^las de sa patrie, semble parler de l'lthaque reelle. C'est une lie pauvre, qui n'a ni routes carrossables, ni prairies ; pas de chevaux ; c'est un s^jour rocheux bon seulement pour les chfevres. Plus loin la description est toute diff^rente. Ithaque a d'excellents paturages, des forets ou poussent toutes sortes d'arbres, des sources intarissables ; c'est un s6jour renommd, connu de tout I'univers ; aussi bien des peuples qui habitent du cotd du soleil levant que de ceux qui habitent du cot^ du couchant. Tout ceci ne convient plus qu'a I'Jle mythique. En outre, comme I'ile des Cyclopes elle possfede un port (le port de Phorkys) (un nom mythique) oil les navires sdjournent en sdret^ sans avoir besoin d'amarres. II y a un antre oil les nymphes tissent d'admirables toiles. Nous pourrions dire que les Grecs ne les y avaient jamais vues. Strabon nous apprend meme qu'il n'existe pas d'antre dans l'lthaque geographique. L'auteur du po^me salt evidemment que I'ile d'Ulysse est frequentde par les dieux, et comme les dieux et les hommes n'habitent jamais ensemble, il s'est vu forcd d'imaginer que File a deux entries, I'une au nord pour les mortels, I'autre au midi pour les dieux, et les hommes ne passent jamais par cette dernifere. Elle a aussi une fontaine Ar^thuse. On retrouve ici tous les caractferes des pays fabuleux ; mais il nous suffisait pour rejeter Ithaque hors de notre monde de savoir que, pour y aborder, Ulysse avait ete contraint d'emprunter le navire d'une race fabuleuse (les Phdaciens), c'est-a-dire un moyen surnaturel

Suivant qu'on le fera regner sur l'lthaque rdelle ou l'lthaque

Ploix. — Le My the de VOdyssh. 179

legendaire, Ulysse peut done etre un homme ou un dieu. Son role dans la guerre de Troie prouve cependant que les Grecs le consideraient comme appartenant a la race qu'ils appelaient la race des hdros. C'est parce qu'il est un dfeva, un lumineux que tous les dieux le protfegent, a I'exception de Posidon. Mais Posidon etait le representant de I'eau et des nuages sombres. Ulysse aborde a Ithaque au moment ou se Ifeve I'etoile du matin. N'est-ce pas la manifestation de sa nature crepusculaire ? Comme les dieux, il est toujours jeune et toujours beau ; c'est a cette condition seule que des dresses comme Circ^ et Calypso pouvaient desirer en faire leur 6poux. Lorsqu'il s'unit de nouveau a Pene- lope, il a toute la splendeur de sa beaute juvenile, comme a Tepoque ou il s'est mari6. On pourrait objecter, il est vrai, que cette apparence de jeunesse est due a la metamorphose que lui fait subir Athena. Mais nous devons remarquer qu'Ulysse ne se montre a Ithaque que sous deux formes, celle d'un vieillard et celle d'un jeune homme, dont aucune ne convient au personnage qui vient de passer vingt ans hors de chez lui. C'est une metamorphose d' Athena qui en a fait un vieillard, et ceci nous rappelle le heros du conte qui revient souvent sous un deguise- ment dans le lieu ou il doit retrouver son Spouse ou sa fiancee. Quand la deesse le transforme de nouveau et lerend seviblable aux immortels, elle le demetamorphose et lui donne son apparence reelle.

Penelope aussi est de la race divine. Comme les nymphes, comme Athena, elle excelle dans tous les travaux feminins, et aucune des heroines grecques, telles que Tyro, Alcmene, Mykfene, etc., ne I'egale sous ce rapport. Elle aussi a la beaute des deesses et sa beaute est inalterable puisqu'elle a survecu a Taction du temps ecoule depuis le depart de son mari.

Ceux qu'on appelle les pr^tendants sont probablement aussi de la race des dieux ou des heros. II sont tous de families royales et I'existence qu'ils passent en festins les assimile aux dieux qui passent leur temps a banqueter eternellement dans I'Olympe.

Les personnages de I'Odyssee et les lieux oil se passent les evenements sont done tous fabuleux.

II nous reste maintenant a examiner le role que les dieux jouent dans le pofeme. Que doit-on penser d'Ulysse apr^s avoir lu Hombre ? Le consid6rerons-nous comme un hdros, dans le

i8o Mythological Section.

sens que nous donnons aujourd'hui a ce mot? Est-ce un homme dou6 de facultes surnaturelles, qui accomplit des ceuvres extraordinaires? J'ai fait remarquer, a propos du principal per- sonnage des contes,' qu'il reste toujours un homme ordinaire, qu'il ne fait rien sans I'aide d'etres surnaturels ou sans • la pos- session de talismans que ceux-ci ou le hasard mettent entre ses mains. II n'a qu'un seul avantage sur les autres mortels, celui d'etre protdgd par les puissances surnaturelles. On peut faire la mSme observation au sujet d'Ulysse. Ulysse est un homme malheureux, car il court de nombreux dangers ; il est un homme heureux puisque les dieux viennent toujours a son secours. Par lui-meme, il ne fait rien.

Dans riliade, il a donne de nombreuses preuves de courage Dans rOdyssee, il recule devant les ennemis. II est battu par les Kikones ; il n'^chappe aux Lotophages que par la fuite. II crbve, il est vrai, I'oeil du Cyclope, mais on peut dire qu'il reussit par la ruse, il a eu soin d'enlever toute force a Polypheme en I'enivrant. Nous trouvons ici un exemple de I'introduction d'un recit facetieux dans la Idgende (nos contes en fournissent de nombreux). C'est en faisant force de rames qu'Ulysse evite la colore du geant aveugle ; il s'eloigne de meme de la cotd des Lsestrygons. II laisse partout ou il aborde les cadavres de quelques uns de ses compagnons.

Au moment ou il va pdndtrer chez Circe, le dieu Hermes survient pour le pr^venir du sort qui I'attend et lui donner le remfede qui I'empechera d'etre mdtamorphos^ en bete. Puis c'est grace aux conseils de Circ^ elle-meme qu'il 6chappe aux melodies dangereuses des Sirfenes (en se faisant attacher au mit de son navire) et a I'engloutissement par Charybde en s'accrochant aux branches du figuier. La d6esse lui avait ^galement recommande de ne pas toucher aux boeufs du soleil. Ses compagnons furent les victimes de leur imprudence.

Prisonnier de Calypso, Ulysse resterait eternelleraent dans son lie sans I'intervention nouvelle d'Hermfes, qui de la part de Zeus intime a la deesse I'ordre de rendre au h^ros sa liberty et de lui fournir un navire qui le conduira chez les Pheaciens. Une tempete brise le navire et Ulysse va p6rir dans les flots. Mais, du fond de la mer, Ino, la fille de Cadmus, apparalt en temps opportun et

^ Lc Surnaturcl dans les contes populaires, p. 145 et ieq.

Ploix.— Z^ Mytke de I'Odyssk. i8i

lui prete un talisman, une ceinture magique, qui le soutiendra sur I'eau jusqu'a ce qu'il atteigne le rivage.

A partir de ce moment Ulysse trouve une nouvelle protectrice qui ne le quittera plus jusqu'a la fin ; c'est Athena. Ella ne se montre pas seulement dans les circonstances difficiles ; elle deviant la cheville ouvrifere de Taction. Rien ne se fait sans qu'elle en donne le conseil et qu'elle en fournisse les moyens. Et non seulement elle ne quitte pas Ulysse dans la lutte qu'il soutient contre les pretendants et dans les pr^paratifs de cette lutte, elle accompagne aussi T^lemaque dans les premiers chants du pobme lorsqu'il se rend a Pylos et i Lacdd^mone pour chercher des nouvelles de son pfere.

C'est elle d'ailleurs qui suggfere a T61dmaque Tidde de ce voyage ; ce qui est assez singulier. II semble qu'un fils qui aime probablement son pfere et qui doit desirer son retour, en raison de ce qui se passe dans le palais paternel, aurait pu songer de lui- meme 'k faire cette enquete. Pdn^lope aurait pu ^galement y penser. Quoiqu'il en soit, la ddesse ne se borne pas au conseil (a-t-elle peu de confiance dans I'intelligence ou dans I'activitd de T^l^maque ?), elle decide quels seront les compagnons de voyage, elle choisit le navire sur lequel ils s'embarqueront, elle endort les pretendants de peur qu'il ne s'apergoivent du depart du prince ; elle met le navire a la mer, elle fait souffler un vent favorable, elle s'embarque elle-meme pour veiller a ce que la traversde se fasse sans encombre. D^barquee a Pylos, c'est elle qui accom- pagne Tdldmaque chez le roi, elle y prend la premiere la parole et elle met au coeur du jeune homme la fermete qui sans doute lui manquaitpour parlera Nestor; quand Telemaque sera a Lace- d6mone, elle ira lui rappeler qu'il est temps de rentrer dans son pays.

L'intervention de la deesse est ici fort etrange, car Telemaque n'a besoin d'aucune aide surnaturelle et ne fait aucune action extraordinaire. Ceci prouve, comme on I'a remarque plus haut, que nous n'avons plus affaire au mythe. Tout cet Episode du voyage de Tdldmaque est entibrement de I'invention du pofete, et par consequent tous les details qui en font partie. L'auteur de rOdyss^e savait par I'lliade, qu'Athena protdgeait Ulysse et s'dtait souvent montree a ses cotds pendant la sibge de Troie II crut se conformer a la tradition en la melant a son ^pop^e. Mais on

1 82 Mythological Section.

peut dire qu'il en abuse. II la reduit a un role un peu subal- terne. II ne s'est pas aper9u que dans la Idgende I'etre mythique ne parait que pour tirer le heros d'un p6ril imminent ou lui faire faire une action surnaturelle. II enlfeve ainsi a ses personnages toute initiative.

Chez les Ph&ciens et a Ithaque, Athena joue le meme role. C'est elle qui apaise la tempete, lorsqu'Ulysse approche de I'ile de Scherie. C'est elle qui donne au hdros la force ndcessaire pour qu'il puisse atteindre I'embouchure du fleuve ou il mettra le pied a terre.

Mais I'endroit est desert, dloignd de la ville ; Ulysse ne trouvera a qui parler. Athena pense a tout ; elle se transporte prompte- ment au palais du roi et suggfere k Nausicaa sa fille la pensde d'aller laver ses vetements a I'endroit oil se trouve pr^cisement le h^ros. Ulysse n'oserait parler &, la princesse ; Athena lui met au coeur la force n^cessaire. Puis elle I'accompagne jusqu'a la ville (aprfes le depart de Nausicaa), le rend invisible pour ne pas exciter la curiosity des habitants, lui sert de cicerone et prend meme soin de lui dire comment il devra aborder la reine ; ce dernier conseil semble bien inutile donne a un personnage renomm^ par sa prudence et ses qualit^s diplomatiques.

Lorsqu'Ulysse aborde a Ithaque, Athgna le rend encore in- visible ; elle I'aide a cacher ses richesses ; elle lui fait reconnaitre son pays, I'instruit de ce qui se passe dans son palais, le renseigne sur ses amis et ses ennemis. Elle est alors dans son role Idgen- daire. Mais elle sort aussi de ce role et alors Ulysse et P^n^- lope semblent de simples marionnettes qu'elle fait mouvoir a son gre. Si Ulysse se fait reconnaitre i son fils, c'est a I'instigation de la ddesse. Si Pdnelope se montre aux pretendants, c'est Athena qui lui en fait naitre la pensee. C'est elle qui incite les preten- dants a outrager Ulysse, pour raviver la colfere de celui-ci. Elle d^tourne I'attention de P^nflope quand Euryclee reconnait son maitre qu'elle a nourri. Elle rfegle la conduite k suivre pour se defaire des prdtendants, suggfere I'idde du concours de Fare, et le combat commence, elle se tient a cot^ d'Ulysse, le rassure sur Tissue de la lutte, le ranime s'il parait faiblir. Enfin, apres la d afaite des pr6tendants, elle intervient encore pour pacifier Tile d'lthaque et assurer d^finitivement le bonheur de P^ndope et de son dpoux.

YhOlx.—Le J\Iythe de VOdyssce. 183

EUe joue done exactement le meme role que le nain ou la f^e de nos contes qui ne cesse de surveiller le h^ros, apparaissant toujours au moment ndcessaire, tantot spontandment, tantot pour r^pondre a I'invocation du personnage. EUe se preoccupe m^me des plaisirs de son protdgd ; la premifere fois qu'il se retrouve dans le lit conjugal, pour lui donner le bonheur d'une nuit plus longue, elle retarde le lever de I'aurore. Le meme fait se produit dans la fameuse nuit oil Zeus s'est uni a Alcmfene.

Les exploits d'Ulysse dans I'Odyss^e sont au nombre de deux. II lance la pierre plus loin que tous ses concurrents. II r^ussit a lancer une fleche avec un arc qu'aucun n'a pu bander. Le jet de la pierre se retrouve dans nos contes. L'arme mythique, que le heros seul peut manier, s'y trouve ^galement. Peut-etre devons-nous joindre aux precedents un troisifeme exploit, le sanglier tu^ par Ulysse dans sa jeunesse. Le principal role des h6ros est de debarrasser la terre des betes fdroces ou des monstres qui y font des ravages. L' animal dont il s'agit est probablement de la meme espfece que le sanglier de Calydon et le sanglier d'Erymanthe.

Le rdcit de I'Odyssde est done absolument mythique. Certaines histoires que I'auteur met dans la bouche de ses personnages et dans lesquelles Ulysse ne joue aucun role, pourraient encore nous fournir I'occasion de quelques comparaisons intdressantes avee d'autres 16gendes. Nous dirons seulement quelques mots du sejour de Mendlas dans Tile de Pharos.

On sait depuis longtemps (et nous n'insisterons pas sur ce point) que cette ile de Pharos ne saurait etre assimildc a File de ce nom que les Grecs connaissaient sur la cote d'Egypte prfes de I'endroit ou fut plus tard Alexandria. L'ile de I'Odyssee est dans le monde de la fable. Elle est la demeure du vieux Prot^e, une personification de I'eau, done un etre d^moniaque. Mdndlas y est retenu, comme Ulysse chez Calypso ou chez Circd. C'est la repetition du meme mythe, avec quelques modifications. Ici le secours vient au h^ros d'Eidothde, la fiUe de Prot^e. Elle lui enseigne le moyen de se rendre maitre de son pfere qui sait a la fois le passe et I'avenir, et de le forcer a lui dire comment il pourra rentrer dans sa patrie. Par ses conseils, pour s'introduire auprfes de Protee sans etre reconnus, Meneias et trois de ses compagnons se eachent dans des peaux de phoques et se melent aux troupeaux

184 Mythological Section.

marins du vieillard.i lis s'emparent de Prot^e pendant son sommeil et celui-ci rdpond k toutes leurs questions. Tous ceux qui sent familiars avec les traditions aryennes reconnaitront ici le conte ou le hdros va chez le diable pur lui arracher ses sdcrets. Car le diable aussi salt tout. Cast toujours un etre feminin, la mfere, la femme ou la fiUe du diable qui protfege le heros et qui le cache ou le metamorphose pour que sa presence ne soit pas connue. C'est encore pendant son sommeil que le diable est questionnd. La Idgende primitive de Mdndlas racontait peut- etre que le heros avait dt6 m6tamorphos6 en phoque. La meta- morphose paraissant difficile, quelque narrateur imagina qu'il s'^tait simplement envelopp6 de la peau de I'animal. De la cette reflexion que la situation devait 6tre d^sagrdable a cause de I'odeur, peut-etre meme insupportable, et Eidothde dut probable- ment enduire d'ambroisie les narines de M^n^las. C'est ainsi que les mythes se developpent et se transforment.

En dehors du mythe y a-t-il dans I'Odyssee des passages a signaler comme int^ressants aux folk-loristes ? lis sont peu nombreux et peu importants. II ne nous apprendraient rien de nouveau. Dans le tableau des moeurs qui sont ddcrites, on peut retrouver bien des traces de fetichisme, mais on sent que I'auteur appartient a une civilisation deja avancee.

^ Le pioc^de offre quelque analogie avec celui qu'emploie Ulysse pour sortir de I'aiitre de Polyphime. Ulysse n'est pas, il est vrai, dans la peau du b^lier ; il est sous son ventre, mais il passe aussi pour faire partie integrante du troupeau.



Few persons are aware of the extraordinary amount of super- stition, including the behef in and practice of witchcraft and sorcery, which exists in Northern Italy. Pitr6 has made the world familiar with the folk-lore of the South, which is very extensive, but, what is very remarkable, it has almost nothing in common with that which prevails to the north of Rome. The former seems to have been gathered from many sources, or from all the Mediterranean, while that which I am about to describe comes from a virgin field, and is so exclusively and unmistakably Old Roman and Etruscan, that it is simply marvellous that such a mass of tradition as I have collected during the past five years should have existed so long unchanged.

There is a not very large and entirely mountainous district, a great part of which lies between Forli and Ravenna, in which the contadini or peasantry have preserved old customs, and the tra- ditionary lore of which I speak, to a degree for which there is no parallel elsewhere in Europe. This is called the Romagna Tos- cana, because it was once an appanage of the Papal dominions. The language spoken there is a somewhat archaic or simple form of Bolognese, in which there are many rough and strange words, most unlike Italian. It is usual among them, during the winter, for a number of people to assemble, and, after having recited a rosario, or certain prayers, to repeat stories in which the super- natural predominates. There are certain families or individuals among whom stregoneria or witchcraft is specially cultivated, and secretly or jealously preserved, and it is among these that old tra- ditions and the names of ancient gods are to be found. I had the fortune to make the acquaintance, in Florence, of a woman, a fortune-teller, who had been, I may say, educated by a foster-

1 86 Mythological Section.

mother in this lore, through whom I was enabled to draw upon the stores of others. And I soon found that the gross amount of legends, incantations, spells, and songs known to a professional was apparently inexhaustible.

In all other European countries, superstitions are now only scattered fragments : in Northern Italy they still form a tolerably complete cult or system. A very few years ago. Prof. Angelo de Gubernatis informed Mr. Gladstone that under the religion of Italy lay, deeply hidden, ten times as much heathenism as Chris- tianity. I repeated this remark to the woman of whom I have spoken, and she replied : " Sicuro — there is ten times as much belief in la vecchia religio?ie as there is in the Catholic, ^^'hen people are in trouble they first try the saints, but they always find sorcery and spirits the best in the end."

The basis of this cult is a peculiar and very interesting poly- theism, or what is, in fact, a worship of the spirits called Folletti. In Southern Italy, according to Pitr6, the itrxa folletto belongs to only one kind of airy, tricksy sprite, but in the north it is applied to all supernatural beings. I have a printed Manuale dei Folletti, which includes even comets under this name. Maffei, in his Arte Magica Distrutta, describes all popular spirits as folletti. These spirits chiefly bear the names of old Etruscan gods, mostly very little changed, or of the older Roman minor rural deities, or dii sylvestres, which are the ones which peasants would be most likely to retain. To these there are invocations addressed, which, when carefully compared with the whole body of folk-lore which I have collected, and with what has been preserved of ancient times, appears to be probably or possibly of even Etruscan origin. But this I leave for others to decide.

First among these spirits or gods is Tinia. He is described as terrible — the folletto of thunder, lightning, and storms. "The Etruscans", writes Ottfried Miiller, "adored a god called Tina or Tinea, who was compared to the Roman Jupiter. Lightning was, in Tuskish art, ever in his hands ; he is the god who speaks in it and who descends in it to earth."

In a detailed account, which I abbreviate, I was told that should a peasant carelessly curse him, then, when a temporale or great storm comes, Tinea appears in the lightning " e bmcia tutta rac- colta" ("burns up all the crop"). Then, to appease him, the

Leland. — Etrusco-Roman Remains. 187

peasant must go at midnight to the middle of the field or vine- yard, and say :

" FoUetto Tinia ! Tinia ! Tinia 1 A te mi racommando ; Che tu mi voglia perdonare, Si ti ho maladetto,

Non r ho fatto con cattiva intenzione ; Lo ho fatto sohanto In atto di collera ;

Se tu mi farei tornare una buona raccolta, Folletto Tinia, sempre te benedico ! "

" Folletto Tinia, Tinia, Tinia ! Unto thee I commend me ! That thou wilt pardon me If I have cursed thee, I did not do it with ih-will ; I did it only in anger, If thou wilt give me a good harvest, I will ever bless thee ! "

There is also an herb called Tigna identified with this spirit. It is much used in magic to repel Tinia when he injures crops, and there is a special incantation attached to it. Tigna is the Marquis de Carabas of the Italian version of " Puss in Boots", i.e., a very great and wealthy lord.

Even more interesting is the Tuscan spirit of the vineyards, wine-cellars, and wine. This is Faflbn, whose name is but little changed from Fufluns, the ancient Etruscan Bacchus. Among the peasantry it is corrupted to Flavo, and even Fardel, but my chief authority gave it as Faflon. Her nephew, who was em- ployed to go about on market-days and verify this lore from old peasants, thought it should be Fafld. He is described as being " d'una bellezza da fare incantare (" enchantingly beautiful"), and is given to good-natured mischief. When the contadini are gathering grapes, Faflon comes invisibly and knocks their panniers all about ; but if they take it pleasantly ; he replaces everything, and then they hear his ringing laughter. Sometimes he falls in love with a pretty girl, and of course wins her.

Once'there was a peasant who had a very beautiful daughter.

1 88 Mythological Section.

To him came Fafldn, disguised as a handsome mortal youth, and asked for the maid. He was rudely refused. Then for three years the peasant's vines bore no grapes, and when his daughter reminded him that the youth had threatened him with this calamity, he beat her cruelly. Going into his cellar, he found a company of wild merry devils, fire flaming from their mouths, drinking hard, as they sat every one on a barrel. And they sang to him :

" Give Faflon that girl of thine, Or thou never shalt have wine."

So he consented, and the maiden disappeared. But from that day he had the best wine in abundance. The invocation to Faflon is as follows :

" Faflon ! Faflon ! Faflon ! A vuoi mi racommando, Che r uva nella mia vigna E molto scarsa — A vuoi mi racommando Che mi fate avere Avere buona vendemmia !

" Fafl<5n ! Faflon ! Fafl6n ! A vuoi mi racommando ! Che il vino nella mia cantina Me lo fate venire fondante Fafl6n ! Fafl6n ! Faflon ! "

" Faflon ! Faflon, Fafl6n !

listen to my prayer !

1 have a scanty vintage. My vines this year are bare, And put, since thou canst do so, A better vintage there !

" Fafl(5n, Fafl6n, Fafl6n ! O listen to my prayer ! May all the wine in my cellar Prove to be strong and rare, And good as any grown, Faflon, Faflon, Faflon ! "

This is the last living hymn to Bacchus in the world. And it may be that it was the first.

Teramo is the spirit of merchants, thieves, and messengers,

Leland. — Etrusco-Roman Remains. 189

also at present of carrier-pigeons. Turms was his old Etruscan name, whence I suppose came Turmus, then Turmo, then the harsh Bolognese Teramo. He is of course Mercury. Of him I have a rather long account, and the invocation is uttered when dismissing a carrier-pigeon. He aids all thieves, unless they intend to commit murder, in which case he disconcerts their plans. He has a friend called Buschet, whose name I cannot identify with any in Etruscan or Roman mythology. Buschet is the hero in a long and beautiful poem which has curious points of identity with other legends.

Maso or Mas is Mars — not the god of war, but his Etruscan prototype, Mas or Mar, who was a god of nature, that is, of crops and of fertility, and who is addressed only as such in the prayer to Mars given by Cato in re Rustica, chap. 141, which is, as Panzer remarks, "of very great antiquity."

I pass over briefly the dread spirit of the night and of nightmare, Mania della Notte. Mania was of old, as Miiller remarks, the Queen of the Lower World, and a truly Etruscan divinity. Feronia is, as of yore, the goddess of market-places, but other attributes have been added, in all of which, however, we can trace classic influence. The Infusa, Impitsa, or Infrusa della Morte, is clearly the ancient Greek Empusa, who was at an early time commonly known in Italy. She appears as a wicked witch in a fairy tale, which is partially a poem. And here I would remark that the narrators of all such tales are quite as ready to sing them as to tell them. This is called cantare alia contadinesca, and is the same kind of chanting in a minor key which is found among Red Indians, gipsies, or most primitive folk.

Siero and Chuculvia are minor spirits whose names were iden- tified by Etruscan scholars with those of old Tuscan deities. Losna, now the spirit of the sun and the moon, was the Etruscan Losna and Latin Luna. The ancient Nortia is now become the spirit who guards truffles, influenced by the town of Norcio, famous for that esculent. Fanio is in every respect the ancient Faunus. He frightens peasants in the woods, is a rake among women, plays tricks, and comes as a nightmare. Silviano is Silvanus. He is much the same as Fanio. Of him there is a very curious story, to the effect that when he had mysteriously mocked and annoyed some charcoal-burners, they, not knowing

I go Mythological Section.

the cause, went to the village priest, who could do nothing for them. Then they went to an old witch, who explained to them, in a short poem, that they had offended Silviano. Then she gave them of the herb sylvestra and ginestra, or broom, and made of it small squares, and bound these on their backs with an incantation, and so they returned into his good graces, " and it was a lesson to them", added my informant — moved by the spirit of ancient heathenism — " never to go and apply to priests where spirits are concerned."

Falo is a spirit of fields, vines, and meadows. When men work at their crops they must say :

" The spirit Palo, he shall be The one who brings good luck to me ! "

He is, of course, the Pales of the Romans.

When a light is suddenly and mysteriously extinguished, espe- cially where two lovers are sitting, people say that Esta, a spirit, put it out. I conjecture this is the ancient Hestia or Vesta, who was connected with lights as well as fires.

Carmenta is the spirit who aids women in child-birth, and who loves children ; corresponding in every respect to the old Latin Carmenta or Carmentis. To her I have an invocation of eighteen verses.

// Sentiero is the same as the god Terminus. He presides over boundaries, that is, the sentieri or paths, and dwells in boundary stones.

La Spirito della Contentezza, or the Spirit of Content, is iden- tical with the Latin Fortuna Redux. When a man is going a journey, his friends invoke it with the words :

" May the Spirit of Content Guide thy steps wherever bent ! "

Oreo, the Orcus Pluto of antiquity, who was literally hell and the devil in one, has passed by that name — as Ogre — into all Italian and other fairy tales. In the Romagna he is explained by the learned in sorcery as a terrible spirit who was once a wizard. And here I may mention briefly that all these gods or spirits were originally mortal. Then after death they reappeared in some descendant, with very much increased power, and so became

Leland. — Etrusco-Ronian Remains. 191

immortal spirits. Even as babes they are at once recognised by certain signs. Of all which I have many legends.

Corredoio is the spirit of music, festivals, and all joy and gaiety. There is a beautiful invocation to him of seventeen verses, im- ploring him to keep away all sorrow, and grant a merry mind to the petitioner. When his attributes as a promoter of peace, merri- ment, domestic bliss, and gaiety were explained to me, I could not help exclaiming, "Almost thou persuadest me to become a heathen ! " I cannot positively identify him with any early divinity.

Tesana is the goddess of the coming dawn, and identical with the Etruscan Tkesan (Corssen, Sprache der Etrusker, i, p. 259). I have a very beautiful poem of thirty-five verses, in the nature of an incantation, which she is supposed to utter when she comes to awaken a sleeping peasant early in the morning. Closely allied to her is Albina, who brings the dawn. She was a mortal who was compelled to renounce her lover, and become a witch or spirit. She accepted the mission, and devoted herself ever after to suc- couring unfortunate lovers, who, to win her favour, must pro- nounce a short invocation to her, while kneeling, before day- break.

Sfolviero or Spulviero is a mischievous spirit of the wind who became such by dying a wizard, not being able to find anyone who would accept the power.

Cupra is a wanton sprite who, like the Fauns, Silviano and several others, is chiefly associated with loose conduct. There was of old an Etruscan goddess named Cupra, but the old Tuscan gods were all in pairs, male and female.

Laronda is now the spirit of barracks, also of all great public buildings. She seems to be the same as the ancient Larunda, the goddess of the compitiuni, a great edifice used in every ancient Roman town for public purposes, and in which gladiators or troops were occasionally lodged. There is a manifestly very modern and common legend in which Laronda is derived from La ronda, that is, the round to change sentinels. If we accept this latter etymology, without research or test, we shall briefly admit that any man who can make a pun on an ancient name can thereby destroy any tradition. It should always be borne in mind that objections should be tested as well as hypotheses or theories.

192 Mythological Section.

Tago is a spirit whose name is known to very few. He is de- scribed as a spirito bambino, a child-spirit, or appearing as a little boy. He is a wizard, he comes up out of the ground, he is in- voked when children are suffering. I have heard him also called Teriegh. He appears to be the old Etruscan Tages. I should also mention that he is specially a predicter or diviner.

Verbio is a sylvan spirit, probably derived from Virbius, the favourite of Diana. I inquired after the Lares, or old Roman household spirits, but they were unknown. At last my inform- ant declared that she knew the spirits of ancestors or domestic spirits as Lasie, but not as Lares. And Lases is the old Etruscan word for Lares as given in the Hymn of the Arval Brothers. The young man specially appointed to investigate, declared the word should be Illasii. I have a long legend, half in poetry, which narrates how a young man who had wasted all his patri- mony and repented, was again made rich by a Lasio, a family spirit. Preller, in his Roman Mythology, gives precisely the same story of the Lar, as Old Latin, but I do not know his authority.

Vira is a spirit who appears in a fairy-tale. She favours young men, and is always in the forests.

Carredora is extremely interesting. She is a benevolent spirit who was, when human, una strega buona — a good witch. She specially protects infants against witchcraft. She is most cer- tainly the Cardea, a very ancient Roman minor goddess. There is a story about her, describing her z^;z-bewitching a babe, full of magical details and containing an incantation, all corresponding curiously in the main to the same as quoted by Preller, I believe from Ovid.

Dusio is a merry household sprite, who is described by writers or philologists as known to every country in Europe except Italy. And curiously enough, I obtained in Italy a story, and more about him than is anywhere else recorded. Remle is the spirit of the mills. Attilio is a duplicate of Dusio : I cannot find any ante- cedents for him, only a very merry, naughty story.

The Goddess of the Four J Finds was the daughter of a maiden who mysteriously became a mother. The fairies were present and made a cradle entirely of roses for the babe, while her mother, who was a fairy, burned laurel twigs, so that their noise might drown the cries of the babe while she sang an incantation. She is identified

Leland. — Etrusco-Roman Remains. igj

with a magical plant, but we can trace through it all the anemone or wind-flower, and the goddess of the wind.

The fairy Querdola, to whom there is an invocation of twenty- three lines, is apparently the Querquetulana or oak-dryad of Latin writers. Gonzio, the spirit of stables and horses, is, I think, the ancient Consus mentioned by Ovid. I have two invocations to him.

Red Cap, ox II Folletto colla Beretta rossa, is a small goblin who haunts houses. He knows where treasures are concealed, and if you can get his cap, he will give you gold to redeem it. I have a detailed account of how this may be done with the requisite in- cantation. He is, I believe, originally Etrusco-Roman, and was at first the red-headed woodpecker, which is also a guardian of treasures. This bird became the goblin-god Picus or Picumnus, hence the Red Cap. I incline to believe that the Northern fairy mythology, if not of Italian origin, had a common source of deri- vation with it.

Bergoia was, during her life, a treacherous sorceress who after death became a spirit of thunder and lightning, and as such con- tinues to do evil. An account of her concludes thus :

" So men lose thousands on thousands Of money by crops destroyed ; For the flash is a ray of fire, And the bolt like a splint of iron, And he who is struck by it dies, As he may by the deadly odour. Which lightning spreads ai'ound, — Such is the work of Bergoia.

Begoe was of olden time an Etruscan nymph who communicated to mortals a whole system of thunder and lightning, and of rules for divining by it — " the ars fulguritorum" , which was preserved after the time of Augustus in the temple of the Palatine Apollo.

The most generally known and popular spirit is La Bella Maria, also called La Madre del Giorno. She has absolutely nothing whatever in common with Saint Martha, though often ignoratitly confounded with her. Though she bears analogy amounting to identity in several respects with the old Etruscan Mater Mamia. I was much disinclined to derive the name from such a source, until I found that Maury, in his Fees du Aloyen Age, declares

194 Mythological Section.

that the name of Matte — a celebrated French fairy — is a change from ?Hater. The Mater Matuta was the same as the Greek Leucothcea, and Marta is the Mother of the Day. She figures in fairy-tales, and in several strange magic ceremonies of anything but a Christian character.

Last, but not least, we have Diana, who has preserved in Italy to this day, unchanged, her character as Queen of the Witches. All of the old mediaeval writers on this subject, down to Gril- landus and Pipernus, assure us that all Italian witches declared that they worshipped, not Satan, but Diana and Herodias. This Herodias, by the way, was a very ancient duplicate of Lilith, who in turn, as Schedius proves with much learning, was the same as Diana, The lady of the New Testament was, as we may say, " added on to her prototype as the deesse de la danse diaboHque. And here I may remark, as a great curiosity, that the Roman Catholic theory of witchcraft, whereby people were supposed to lend themselves for ever to the devil, is not known in Italy, any more than it was to the Norsemen. A witch there may lose all her power by shedding a single drop of blood, when on the sorceress-frolic, as Bernoni declares of the Venetian. In Florence she loses it, and becomes as virtuous as anybody, if she be detected, or even prevented from going to the Sabbat. And no witch can die till she has shaken off her witchcraft. It may be inherited, unconsciously. The witch says : " I have some- thing to leave you — will you have it?" The dupe says, "Yes," and finds herself a witch at once, while the other dies. There is living at this minute "in Florence a priest who thus inherited stregoneria from an old woman, whom he was called in to confess. Once a month the wizard-fit comes on him, when he feels an irresistible tendency to do evil — or something wild. Then, because he is a good man, and will not harm anybody, he goes into the country, and kicks the trees, and tears up bushes, and otherwise works off his Berserker-rage. I was offered an introduction to him, which I declined. My informant, who was much more of an Etruscan heathen than a Christian, rejoiced to think that here was a case beyond the power of the Church to cure.

There is a vast amount of ancient and modern learning which identifies Diana-Hecate with witchcraft. In Egypt she was Bubastis,

Leland. — Etnisco-Roman lieniains. 195

the Cat goddess, in Italy the Cat Moon, who scattered the starry mice, and everywhere the Queen of Sorcery. And one of the first things which I was told in Florence, of such lore, was that Diana was La grande Magia — "the great magician". And it is not so very remarkable that in a country where everybody still swears by Bacchus, that here and there, deep buried in the hills, there should remain such memories of the old gods as I have given you. What I give is indeed only like titles in a catalogue. I hope some day to publish the whole in detail in a book.

I should here remark that several of these names, among ihem some of the most important, are far from being generally known, and are so rapidly passing into oblivion, that I am sure, but for my collection, they would possibly have perished altogether. Those who possess such knowledge are often very much averse to communicating it, because, as the young man said to me — to whom I have referred — it is scongiurati dai preti — accursed by the priests. But the kind of lore of which my collection prin- cipally consists is more widely disseminated. This is chiefly stories of witches and minor goblins, such as the spirits of bridges and towers, silk-worms, lamps, and scaldini, saints who are half demons and of heathen origin, witch songs and poems, of which there are enough to form a volume, and finally a vast mass of magical cures and extremely curious 'superstitions, of which I cannot here even give all the names.

There lived in the fourth century, Marcellus Burdigaknsis, or Marcellus of Bordeaux, by birth a Gaul, who was court physician to the Emperor Honorius. He collected and recorded in a book on Empirical Medicine, one hundred magical cures which he had gathered, as he tells us, among old women and peasants. This collection was edited and republished by Jacob Grimm. Of these one hundred magical remedies, I have found, by dint of much inquiry, fifty which are still practically in use. I believe that in some cases I have recovered these in a more perfect condition than as given by Marcellus. Thus, he tells us that if grass growing on the head of a statue be plucked in the waning of the moon, and then bound about the head, it cures headache.

I asked an old woman if she knew this, and she replied, " Yes, but you must repeat with it the incantation :

o 2

196 Mythological Section.

" ' Non prendo Verba, Ma prendo la magia, Che il mal di capo mi vada via ! E chi mi ha dato la malia II diavolo la porta via !'"

" I do not take the grass, But I take the magic, That the headache may lea\'e me ! And may the devil take away The one who gave it to me ! "

Note that through all this lore there runs one thread, which is, that all disorders and ill-luck and earthly mischances are caused by witchcraft, and must be cured by Christian saints or heathen sorceries, the latter being preferred. This one specimen will serve as an illustration for the fifty cures of which I have spoken, the whole involving a mass of old Roman or Etruscan rites and observances recorded by classic authors, of the greatest interest.

Very interesting is the long ceremony of divination by means of a hot coal, a fire, salt, oil and water, which involves incanta- tions and signs, all of which I saw performed, and carefully wrote down ; the conjuring away of death, the stealing oil from church- lamps to make love-philtres, and many more, all of which are described by either classic or mediaeval writers, but in few instances so fully and completely as to indicate that the old authors, were practically familiar with them. I will conclude my remarks with one or two instances which I trust may interest you.

La Cavalletta is an insect which is defined as a locust, or a grass- hopper, but it is really what is commonly known in America as the Katydid. It has a very loud, shrill cry, which the ancients greatly admired. Of it, I was told the following :

" La Cavalletta is an insect of green colour, with long legs. It is a sign of good luck — e tanto di huon augurio. When it comes into a room, one should at once close the windows to prevent its escaping ; and if there should happen to be sleeping children in bed, so much the better. Then one should tie a thread to the leg of the cavalletta, and the other end to the bed, and say or sing:

" O cavaletta che tanto bella siei 1 E da per tutto la buona fortuna porti I

LelanD. — Etrusco-Roman Remains. 197

E quando vai via tu la lasci,

Percio siei venuta in casa mia

Per portarmi la buona fortuna,

E neppure non riportar me la via la buona fortuna,

Lascia la in casa mia,

E specialmente ai figli miei 1

Che eri tu pure in vita una donna bella,

Bella e buona e plena di talento,

E cosi ti prego se tu vuoi (puoi),

Fare venire ai figli miei

Di gran talento e se ne cosi farai,

Ne sarai sempre benedetta, e ben vero,

Che ora tu ai la forma di una bestia,

Ma una bestia tu non siei,

Siei uno spirito della buona fortuna ! "

" O Katydid, so fine and fair, Who bringst good fortune everywhere ! Leave good luck in this my home, Since into the house you've come. Bring it unto me, I pray. Do not take the least away ; Bring it to me and every one, Most of all unto my son ! In life you were a lady full Of talent, good and beautiful. Let me pray as this is true, You'll give my child some talent too ! And where you fly from East to West, May you in turn be truly blest ! For though an insect form you wear. You are a spirit good and fair ! "

Then, when the child shall be of an age to understand this, he should be taught to sing :

" lo son giovane e vero Ma lo tengo un gran talento, Un gran uomo io saro Ma la cavaletta posso ringraziare Perche nella cuUa il gran talento Mi e venuto a porta mia Mi a portato la buona fortuna Per la cavaletta, la cavaletta."

ipS Mythological Section.

" I am but little, as you see, And yet I may a genius be ; And if when grown I should be great, And make a name in Church and State, I'll not forget that one fine day. As I in cradle sleeping lay. How all my wit, as mother bid, Was brought me by the Katydid."

This is very simple, but it involves much beautiful Graeco- Roman tradition. There is one and the same folk-lore for the cavalletta, the grasshopper, and the cicada. They were called collectively, or altogether, mantis, or " prophet", by the Greeks. It typified genius, song, and prophecy, and was associated with Cupid — that is, with children and their intellectual destiny. The ancients loved it more than the nightingale, they associated it strangely with higher genius and divination ; and it was also the herald of spring, a song of rivulets and fountains sparkling in the shade, a calling to green fields, and a voice of the flowers. Ana- creon's sweetest poem is addressed to it as the favourite of Apollo and the Muses. The Greek maidens wore golden cicadcB in their hair as a sign of culture and of patriotism, because these insects always live in one spot The whole of this ancient spirit of prophecy and genius is found in the Tuscan superstition which I have described to you, and this mysterious antique spirit inspires many more like it which I gathered.

You will observe that in the Tuscan incantation there occur the words :

" In life you were a lady full Of talent, good and beautiful."

I believe that this refers to the ancient fable of the origin of these insects. The cicadce were once young ladies who were so very aesthetic and susceptible to music, that, having heard the Muses one day singing, they remained so entranced that they forgot to eat — and so starved to death. As a reward for their admiration they were changed to cicadce or cavalletti, who sing all summer long, and in winter live with the Muses.

I will conclude with the description of a peculiar incantation which I give as it was told. It is the Exorcism of Death. When

Leland. — Etrusco-Roman Remains. 199

anyone is very ill, and death is feared, the nearest relative goes to a witch and says :

" Voglio da te una grazia : La morte al mio 'malato non voglia far venire, E sono venuto da te a sentire Perche tu me lo possa dire ! "

" Death will not take my friend away. Therefore, declare, as well you may. What one must do, what one must say."

" Then Death appears to the witch in a dream, and announces that on a certain day the invalid will be in his power and taken away.

" Then, on that night when death is expected, the witch takes a pumpkin and makes in it eyes and nose, and two holes, and puts on it two bean-pods with the beans in them, to resemble horns." [Note these beans.] And when death is expected, the witch, with great solemnity, makes the sign of the horns or the jettatura, and says :

"O spirito di morte, Morte indegna ! Da questa casa te ne puoi andare Questa 'malatta nella notte tu non potrai pigliare Perche le come o jettatura ti sono venuta a fare Ed appena 1' alba sara spuntata, II malatto piu non ti sarai guadagnato ; E dalla morte verra liberato !"

" Spirit of Death, to thee I say • Thou shalt not with thee bear away This suffering man ; for at thee now The awful magic sign I throw. And ere thou seest the morning dawn. Without thy prey thou shalt be gone This time there is no gain for thee, And from thy power he is free."

Such verses as these are crooned, as it is called in Ireland, the voice rising suddenly and pausing on the rhymes.

Ovid describes to us in detail how, on the annual feast of the Lemures, every head of a family conjured away death from his house for a year to come. He walked through the house making the sign oi \he Jettatura ; ??iedio cum pollice junctis ; bearing beans

200 Mythological Section.

in his mouth and scattering them about, and pronouncing an incantation. " After a time", says Preller, " this ceremony was accompanied with imitations of skeletons and ghostly figures." The pumpkin-head, with eyes and a light in it, has everywhere been recognised as resembling a skull.

The object of this was to frighten Death away with his own likeness, according to a principle which runs through all ancient magic, of similia similihus curantur — the killing of witchrcraft by witchcraft. AVe may learn from the Magie Chalddienne of Lenor- mant that images of all the evil spirits were placed in the houses of Nineveh and Babylon to keep the originals away, since it was believed that there was nothing which demons so much disliked as a sight of themselves. "The Chaldaeans", says Lenormant, " represented the demons under such hideous forms, that they believed that it was sufficient for them to be shown their own image to cause them to flee away alarmed." The application of this principle is illustrated in an incantation against the plague, in which Hea, the great god, advises his son Silik-mulu-dug to defeat the fever-demon Namtar by making the likeness of the evil being and showing it to him, when he would become a prisoner in it.

I have little doubt that this fact may afford an explanation why, during the Middle Age, figures of goblins and devils were so very generally depicted in all decoration. Byzantine architectural ornament, as has been shown, is of ancient Assyrian origin, and much Oriental mysticism passed from this source, secretly, into the Gothic. I do not say that this is quite proved : I only offer it as a subject for investigation. It has long been observed that even the once current popular fondness for the grotesque did not at all explain why all these forms of devils, sorcerors, and every con- ceivable horror were absolutely forced in multitudes into churches, in ah age of which, as Heine remarks, the predominant charac- teristic was Symbolism, or the deeply meaning something in all its art. It is possible that in the works of Durandus or Berchorius some passage may be found confirming this theory.

I have here given you a very inadequate and fragmentary sketch of the collection of Etrusco-Roman remains in modern Tuscan tradition, which was made under so many and such indescribable difficulties, that I trust you will be lenient as regards its many imperfections.

Leland. — Elnisco-Roman Remains. 201


The Chairman thought the meeting would agree with him in saying that they had listened to a whole world of discovery. It might be his ignorance, but he was very much surprised to find that there was so much survival of ancient beliefs ; and what was more, Mr. Leland had evidently quite a store of similar things beyond what he had told them. He could, however, tell them a similar story from the Isle of Man. There a belief existed that a witch or a person with an evil eye could be made innocuous by drawing a little of his blood, for instance by scratching him, which could be done accidentally, say on the way home from church. That belief existed there still.

Mr. KiRBY explained that the Etruscan name Mar meant " land". A curious point of witchcraft was this, that native witches and wizards, according to the statements of modern missionaries both in North America and New Zealand, always lost their power as soon as they were baptised or became Christians.

Miss Dempster thought it might perhaps give pleasure to Mr. Leland, in return for all the pleasure he had given to the meeting, if she gave him a Provencal incantation for taking off a headache occasioned by a severe sun. It was still in use in the South of France, where the sun was very hot. It was as follows : —

"Au-dela de la mer II y a trois fonlaines ; Una de lait, Une de vin, Una de miel.

Paternoster, Paternoster, Paternoster! Tout cela pour enlever le soleil."

But this charm could not be worked unless the person suffering from the effects of the sun carried an empty bottle, a jug, or a cup upon his head ; and the idea was that the sunstroke went into this empty vessel, upon which the person would get well.

Mr. TCHERAZ (Armenia) desired to acquaint the meeting with the fact that Professor Bugge, of the University of Christiania, who had recently published a book comparing Etruscan with all branches of the Aryan languages, came to the conclusion that there was more or less analogy between them. He had concluded that the Etruscans had emigrated from the Highlands of Armenia, and he (Mr. Tcheraz) had noticed several words in this paper which were distinctly Armenian.



An interesting inscription was found some years ago at Eleusis. It is engraved on the base of the statue of a hierophant. It is he who speaks (line 4) :

ovvofia 8' ocTt? e7<» /t^ Bi^eo ' ffecrfjo^ ixelvo fivariKO'i ai^er ajcov et9 aXa irop^vperfv.

'AXlC orav el<; fiaxtiptov e\0eo koX jMopaifiov rj/xap Xe^ovo'iv Tore Brj •jrdvTe<; '6<toi<s /j,e\ofiai.

" Ask not my name, the mystic rule (or packet) has carried it away into the blue sea. But when I reach the fated day, and go to the abode of the blest, then all who care for me will pronounce it."

After his death his sons write below :

Nvv r^Zi) iralSef kXvtov ovvo/ia Trarpo? dpiaTOV

^aivofiev o ^wo? Kpvyjrev aXo? -rreXdr/ei. OuTo? ' ATToWoovtoi; doi8i/u,o<; —

" Now we his children reveal the name of the best of fathers, which, when alive, he hid in the depths of the sea. This is the famous ApoUonius . . . ." The rest of the epigram is unfortu- nately mutilated and obscure. The lepwpvfita or " holy name" of the hierophant is an institution with which we were already familiar, but it has been contended, and is now generally stated in handbooks, that it was an institution of late date, and that so early as the fourth century B.C. it was unknown. It is on the face of it improbable that a ritual rule of this nature should have grafted itself upon the Eleusinian worship in late times, and I think it can be shown that this view rests on a misinterpretation of the evidence. The best way to review this evidence is to take the list of named hierophants given by Toppfer in his excellent

Paton. — Holy Names of the Eleusinian Priests. 203

Attische Genea/ogie, and to go through it in detail. This I do in an Appendix to this paper. The actual facts to which the evidence points are, it seems to me, these : "The hierophant (he was a member of the ryefo? of the Eumolpidae, and his office was hereditary) on succeeding to the title dropped his original name, and took a " holy name". This " holy name" was either derived from the name of some god, or bore some ritualistic meaning. We. find on the one hand the names Eurymedon, Apolli- narius, Apollonius, Heraclides, Theodorus, Glaucus, Erotius : on the other the names Zacorus and Prophetes. The holy name was, immediately on its assumption, solemnly committed to the sea, and kept secret until the death of the hierophant. It was during his lifetime revealed only, along with sublimer secrets, to the mystae whom he initiated ; it is probable that the terms of their general oath of secrecy obliged them never to utter it ; so that they alone were still prohibited from pronouncing the holy name even after the hierophant's death. A passage of Eunapius {Vita Maxim., p. 52), where he says, "I may not tell the name of him who was then hierophant, for it was he who initiated me," can only thus be satisfactorily explained. The hierophant's original name was entirely abandoned ; it was no longer his name, and its use was improper. It is never employed in state docu- ments, where his name is simply 'lepo(j)dvTi]<;, with, in the case of Greek names, the addition of the father's name, and, in the case of Roman names, the addition of the Gentile name — e.g., 'Iepo(f>dvTT]'i EvaTp6<f>ov or ^Xaovio? lepo<j)dvTri<;. It appears, however, from a decree of the Eumolpidae and Kerykes, in which the hierophant honoured by their vote is named, that it was used by members of the priestly famihes ; and, although its use by others was pro- hibited, as we learn from a passage in Lucian's Lexiphanes (see Appendix), it is probable that this prohibition was not strictly enforced. Thus we find the atheistic philosopher Theodorus addressing a hierophant by his discarded name Lacrateides, instead of by his title (see Appendix). After his death the hierophant was known to posterity by his holy name. The view that the 'lepavvfiia did not exist as an institution in early times, arises from a mistaken interpretation of this exceptional use of the discarded family name.

Besides throwing light on the significance of the holy name and

204 Mythological Section.

the practice of its concealment, the epigram on the statue of Apollonius mentions the very interesting ceremony of the com- mittal of the name to the sea in order to symbolise its secrecy. This ceremony is referred to in another Eleusinian epigram. It is here a female hierophant who is speaking :

Tovvofia aLjaffdcD : tout ' ajroKKy^ofievr) €VTe fie T^eKpoirihai A.r)ol Oeaav !epocj)dvTiv aurrj a/j,aiuaKeToi<; iyKOTeKpvyjra ^v6oi<i.

" Let my name remain unspoken : on being shut off from the world, when the sons of Cecrops made me hierophantis to Demeter, I myself hid it in the vasty depths." It is possible that airoKkrjtflfievrj here, in itself an improper form of airoKKel^o- fievt), has been niiswritten for aTroK\v^ofj,evr] — " washing it off" (the two words would have been pronounced alike at this period). This would imply that the name was committed to the sea by the immersion of its bearer in the sea ; but the words of the other epigram make it more probable that the name was written on a leaden tablet which was cast into the sea.

Before speaking of the bearings of this ceremony a little must be said as to the significance of the holy name and of its concealment.

The names, as we have seen, are holy in one sense, in so far as they are derived from the names of gods, or from ritual functions ; but there is here only the faintest trace of the identification of the priest with the god, and his consequent assumption of the god's name. Many clearer survivals of this practice (so common in the ancient Mexican religion) may be found in that of Greece.

As to the original reason for concealing the assumed name there can be little doubt. A man's name, like the print left on the ground by his foot or any other part of the body, was regarded as another self, injury to which would sympathetically affect his real self. It was necessary for his personal safety that he should erase the one and conceal the other. I do not know if there are any savage nations to whom personal names are unknown. There are at least peoples who, while they have personal names, rarely or never use them ; but the significance attached to the knowledge of a man's name by malevolent spirits, and the con-

Paton. — Holy Names of the Eleusinian Priests. 205

sequent necessity for concealing it, comes to the surface among savage and other nations under two sets of circumstances : (i) When the man is in any condition which renders him peculiarly liable to evil influences ; or (2) when it is particularly necessary for his own sake or that of others that he should be protected from such influences.

In the first category the following instances may be grouped : (i) It is unlucky to pronounce a child's name before baptism — i.e., while the child has not been purified by lustration, and is therefore subject to evil influences. This is a common notion in Scotland (see Gregor, Folk-lore of the N.E. of Scotland, p. n) and in Germany (Ploss, Das Kind, i, p. 162). In other places bad names are given to infants before baptism. Mr. Bent (Cyclades, p. 181) tells us that it is customary in those islands to call a child Iron or Dragon, or some such name, before christening takes place. The name Iron is certainly not given, as he was told, "to indicate prospective strength," but to frighten away evil spirits. (2) A wife may not pronounce her husband's name, doubtless be- cause it was desirable that the name should not be spoken while the man was in an unpurified state after sexual intercourse. This was the rule at Miletus, as Herodotus tells us (i, 146), and Lobeck {Aglaophamus, p. 158) quotes a passage of a Christian writer Ps-Ignatius(^/. ad Antioch., p. 158), aliyvvalKei; Ti/jidrwaav Tot;? avhpa<i o)? crdpKa Ihiav, iJ.r]Se ef 6v6fiaTO<; roXfidrcoaav el-rreiv. " Let wives honour their husbands as their own flesh, and not venture to call them by their names," which shows that the prohibition had at that date survived in the civilised world honoris causa, as indeed it still survives among country folk in Scotland. Among savage nations it is frequently enforced. Prof. Sayce m his note to Herodotus cites the Bogos, and others may be instanced ; the extension of the rule to the husband's male relations, as among the Kaffirs, is an evident indication of primitive polyandry. (3) The name is changed at certain periods when its bearer is impure, and therefore peculiarly exposed to the assaults of evil spirits. Some significant instances of this are given by Ploss {£>as Kind, i, p. 161). In Nias, an island of the Malay Archipelago, the change of name is made, in the case of men, on their marriage, in the case of girls, at puberty. In Engano, another island of the archipelago, the name is changed when a

206 Mythological Section.

death occurs in the house. The same custom is found among certain South American tribes. See Folk-Lore Journal, viii, p. 156; the explanation there given, viz., that the change is made from a fear of recalHng the spirits is, it seems to me, wrong : the danger which enjoins the change is rather that incidental to the impurity contracted by contact with a corpse. (4) Names are concealed from strangers, because strangers are supposed to possess peculiar magical powers (see Frazer, Golden Bough, i, p. 150, and for instances, Folk-Lore Journal, viii, p. 158). Under the second category — concealment of name when its bearer is not specially exposed to evil influences, but in special need of protection from them, because they would prove fatal to himself or others — comes first the change of name in grievous sickness. This is, or was, done among the Jews, in Borneo {Folk-Lore Journal, viii, p. 156), and among the Mongols (Ploss, Das Kind, i, p. 17s). The name may be concealed also by persons who lead an especially dangerous life, or rely much on luck. Ammianus (xxii, 16, 23) tells us that the most terrible tortures would not induce Egyptian brigands to reveal their names. The persons in early society to whom protection from evil influence was most necessary were kings and priests ; for disaster to them meant disaster to the community (see Frazer, Golden Bough, i, ch. 2), and we naturally find among the precautions taken to ensure their safety the concealment of name. The best known instance is that of the Emperor of China, whose real name is never pro- nounced. The concealment of the names of the Eleusinian priests comes, of course, under this category.

II. The committal of the name to the sea. — The symbolism of this action is evident. What we wish to annihilate we throw into the sea, like Polycrates his ring, and the Athenians the stelae con- demning Alcibiades. But the committal of a name to the sea suggests interesting thoughts on one light in which baptism may be regarded. What is the origin of that association among primi- tive peoples of the lustral ceremony with name-giving which our present rite perpetuates ? The simplest, and perhaps the correct, answer seems to be that the name was given simultaneously with the lustration, because, as we have seen, it was undesirable that it should be given before, while the child was yet impure and exposed to malign influence ; but, when we find instances of

Paton. — Holy Names of the Eleusinian Priests. 207

peoples who do not afterwards use names thus conferred, e.g., the Abyssinians, the thought inevitably arises that to them the name is one of the impure and prejudicial things which the lustral water washes away. Lustration and committal to the sea are ceremonies so closely aUied as to be almost identical. This is shown by a comparison of the properties and virtues of the sea, as a whole, with those of the materials used for lustration.

The sea washes away all impurities, makes them disappear ; QaXacraa icKv'i^ei iravra TavOpmTrwv KaKa, says Euripides. In ancient Greece we need only instance the ceremony in the Iliad {^ 3iS> o' S' aireXvfiijvavTO koX el<; oka Xv/xaT e^aWov where the plague is committed to the sea, and the rite of casting into the sea the scape-goat in Leucas (Strabo, x, p. 452), and the ashes of the scape-goats in Asia Minor (Tretzes ad Lye, 1141, and Chil., 726-761). A curious survival at Sidon of a rite analogous to these last is mentioned by Sebillot {Legendes de la Mer, i, p. 88). The Turkish women meet on the shore, and cast their sins upon a Christian woman, if they can find one ; if not, they cast them into the sea. It is evident that the unmutilated rite would be to cast their sins upon the Christian woman and then throw her into the sea. Many modern instances of the committal of sins to the sea, sometimes in a ship, are given by Mr. Frazer (^Golden Bough, ii, p. 192), and an ancient parallel is the untenanted ship which was sent to sea at the great festival of Isis, so graphically described by Appuleius. It is possible that the original signifi- cance of the Doge wedding the Adriatic by throwing a ring into it was no other; the Isiac ceremony, like this, was interpreted as invoking a blessing on navigation and commerce.

This power of the sea, as a whole, is transferred not to water generally, but (i) to running water or spring-water which is on its way to the sea, and was supposed by a prinjitive philosophy, of which we find the trace in Thales and his disciples, to come directly from the sea by underground channels, losing its saltness on the way (see Seneca, de Aquis, iii, 5, and cp. Berl. Phil. Woch., 1891, p. 964); (2) to sea water, salted water, or salt. The lustral virtues of running water are familiar, and need not concern us here. The use of sea or salt water in lustration by the ancient Greeks is too well known to need illustration. I may refer to Dr. Verrall's remarks in an Appendix to his edition of the Agamem-

2o8 Mythological Section.

non. This use was not confined to the Greeks, but was probably very general. The Ebionites, like Mahomedans, purified them- selves from sexual intercourse by washing ; they used sea-water by preference (Colonna, Hydragiologia, p. 448). It is, of course, universally known that the holy water in both the Eastern and Western Churches derives part of its virtue from an admixture of salt. Sea-water, or salt, was used to purify wells. Elisha purifies the well at Jericho by casting salt into it (2 Kings, ii), and the prayer used at the exorcism of the salt to be mixed with the holy water makes special mention of this miracle. M. Sebillot {L^gendes, etc., p. 94) mentions that, nowadays, at Tyre there is a well which in the autumn becomes troubled. The people of the country bring on a certain day buckets of sea-water and pour them into the well, which recovers its clearness. When we read this we remember Lucian's description of what he calls the Great Festival of the Syrian Goddess at Hierapolis, in the same part of the world. Her temple was on a lake. The festival was called 'ETrl daXaaaav, " To the sea". There was a solemn procession to the sea, and sea-water, in jars carefully sealed, was brought back. The seals were broken by a ministrant of the goddess, and the water was then used as a libation. One may conjecture that it was poured into the lake.^

As, however, water (I am not here speaking of sea-water, but of water in general) does not annihilate material impurities, but holds them in solution, it was naturally regarded as holding in solution immaterial impurities also. Moses gives the Israelites to drink a solution of the brazen calf, seemingly with the view of making them remember their transgressions. In the extraordinary trial of jealousy (Numbers v) the suspected woman has to drink a solu- tion of curses, and probably St. Jerome is right in interpreting in the same sense the ceremony at Mizpah (i Sam. vii) when the Israelites, abjuring their idols, drew water and poured it on the ground. The analogous stories of savages who drink solutions of doctors' prescriptions are familiar to us. By a primitive, and here correct, generalisation this solvent power of water is attributed to the sea as a whole. A\'hile it washes away and hides secrets and evils committed to it, it does not annihilate them, but holds them

' .See, however, Robertson-Smith, Relii>xon oj (he Semiles, p. 182.

Paton. — Holy Names of the Ekiisinian Priests. 209

in solution, and may, if it will, render them again — a terrible power, the consciousness of which makes itself felt in the common notion that the sea throws up the bodies of murdered people. (Cp. Seneca, Ep. 26.)

The sea is therefore the storehouse of the secrets of the whole world's past, and, by an easy transition, it comes to be regarded as the storehouse of the secrets of the future. It is for this reason that the sea is the home of prophetic beings — Proteus, Glaucus, and countless others in old Greece. I do not speak with com- plete confidence when I say that in the transference of its attri- butes in this respect to running water lies the explanation of spring-oracles. It is certain that the oldest oracles of Greece, just like the latest — a still existing oracle in the island of Amorgos — were water oracles, and that the Poseidon, who was, as legend tells us, the original oracle-god at Delphi, cannot be dissociated from the Poseidon of the sea and the prophetic beings who inhabit its depths. The question is this. Was the prophetic power of the sea transferred to springs or vice versa ? The two ideas cannot have grown up independently.

The transference of this virtue of the sea to salt water is shown by a curious instance of the use of the latter among the Greeks. Athenaeus (p. 458) tells us that those who could not guess riddles were obliged, as a penalty, to drink salt water (oX/jLtjv iriveiv). The meaning of this custom is, that having failed to divine the secret by help of their wits they might find it thus.

This is a rough statement of the powers attributed to the sea and to salt water, and by such light as it affords we may consider the ceremony of baptism.

AA'ashing a child after birth was always a ceremony. It occa sionally survives among Christian peoples as a ceremony distinct from baptism, but, in most instances, its ceremonial elements have naturally been transferred to the rite prescribed by religion, the child's first bath retaining nothing but its hygienic purpose. Among these ceremonial elements the use of sea-water, salt water, or salt is prominent. The newly-born child is, among many peoples, bathed in the sea, or in salt water, or rubbed with salt; the Isaurians in Asia Minor go so far as to put the child in pickle for twenty-four hours (see Sdbillot, Legendes, etc., i, p. 90, and Ploss, Das Kind, i, p. 280, and ii, pp. 16 and 17). Tavernier


2IO Mythological Section.

(quoted by Sebillot) tells us that Kaffir babies, immediately after birth, were given salt water to drink, and Napier (quoted by Ploss) says that in the west of Scotland, on the first occasion when the mother takes a newly-born child to a friend's house the friend puts salt in its mouth. Ploss and others are inclined to regard the use of salt as simply a diaetetic measure, and salt baths are recom- mended for babies by Galen, Soranus, and modern physicians, but no one will maintain that the health of little Kaffirs and little Hebrideans is improved by their drinking sea-water or eating salt ; and I think that, other reasons apart, if this has a ceremonial meaning, then the sea bath or salt bath has it also. It is interest- ing to observe how the Christian Church has been obliged, here as elsewhere, by the power of customs older than it, and more deeply rooted in the consciousness of the people than the teach- ing or example of Christ, to adopt, in the rite of baptism, the use of salt. Salt was always an ingredient of the holy water, but, because Christ was baptised in the Jordan, the baptismal water was not salted. St. Augustine regarded baptism in the sea as a relic of paganism, and in some parts of Germany (Grimm, Deutsche Myth., p. 877) witches were supposed to use salt for baptising beasts. AVe find, howe\'er, the impositio sails, i.e., the placing a grain of salt in the candidate's mouth, existing already in the early Roman rite of the catechumenate (preceding adult baptism), and this ceremony has now become part of the baptismal service in the Roman Church. The addition of salt to the baptismal, as distinct from the holy, water dates only from somewhere between the sixth and ninth centuries (Ploss, ibid., p. 283). Salt is now mixed with the baptismal water both in the Eastern and AVestern Churches. In the Greek Church the baptismal water is poured after the ceremony into the sea, or, where the sea is not accessible, into a receptacle in the church representative of the sea and called QaKaaaa (Ducange j. v.). According to Colonna (Hydragiologia, p. 218), the Burgundians were the first people who used salt in baptism, and they were hence called "Saliti Burgundi." In Brandenburg (Ploss, p. 216) if a child is baptised in fresh water it will certainly have red hair — the attribute of the Egyptian Typhon. Notwithstanding the efforts of the Church to distinguish the two, we find the baptismal water credited in early times with the virtues of the holy water. St. Gregory of Tours (Colonna, Hydrag.,

PaTON. — Holy Names of the Eleusinian Priests. 2 1 1

p. 350) mentions a wonderful baptistery in Portugal. The water supplied by a spring used to rise above the level of the edges of the font as if it were a solid substance. It was distributed to the devout, who took it home and poured it on their vineyards and cornfields. It became necessary to make a special rule, that this water should be distributed ante infusionem chrismatis (ibid., p. 446).

I have above indicated that the most prominent attributes of the sea as a whole were (i) its purifying, (2) its prophetic, virtue, and that both these attributes were transferred to salt water and salt. We find the baptismal water credited with the same powers. Like the water from the Portuguese baptistery, the salt used at baptism and provided by the sponsors is in Brabant (Ploss, i, p. 286) carried home and used to protect the corn from disease. Gregor, in his Folk-lore of the N.E. of Scotland, mentions two very signifi- cant superstitions with regard to baptismal water. None of the water must go in the child's eyes or it will see ghosts. It is drunk in order to strengthen the memory. This last is very much akin to the drinking of salt water among the Greeks by those who could not answer riddles. I am sorry that in this matter my material is at fault. I do not know if the question of the virtue attributed to baptismal water has received the attention it deserves.

Now if the lustral ceremony after birth is equivalent to the committal of impurities to the sea, and if the name is a thing which is analogous to other impurities, in that it makes us especi- ally liable to injury by evil spirits, may not the primitive associa- tion of the ceremonies of name-giving and lustration come very close to the committal of the name to the sea by the priests at Eleusis. Perhaps the precautions taken to do away with the baptismal water may enforce this analogy. In the east of Scotland it is poured under the foundations of the house (Gregor, ibid.); in the Eastern Church it is, as I have said, thrown into the sea. A\'e should, it is true, find in this case more instances of an aversion to the use of the baptismal name, but the single instance of the Abyssinians is perhaps sufficient to show that this notion of washing away the name at the same time at which it was given was one which was likely to suggest itself, and must be taken into account as a possibihty.

2 I 2 Mythological Section.


I HERE follow Topffer in his list of named hierophants (Att. Gen.., pp. 55-61). I have supplied one or two omissions in this list, and there are probably others. My objects are — (i) To review the facts in the light of my conception of the " hieronymia", and to show that they support it ; (2) to show that there is no evidence of any radi- cal change of usage in this matter at any period covered by our authorities. The supposed evidence for such a change is discussed under Nos. 5, 6, and 7.

1. Zaxopoi (Lysias, vi, 54) is the name of a hierophant long since dead. It is, therefore, the holy name.

2. BeoSiupo'i (Plut., Atcid., 33) is doubtless the holy name. We may assume that the original authority for the incident here related wrote after the death of the hierophant.

3. AuKpaTeibrjs (Isaeus, vii, 9), the original, not the holy, name of the hierophant, as the speaker expressly says (^AaxpaTeicrj tw vvv lepotpavTTj r^evofievw).

4. 'Apx'at (Demosth., lix {/n Nearani), 116 ; Y\\x\..,Pelop., 10, and De Gen. Socr., 30). The passages of Plutarch show that he was hierophant ' in 378 B.C. The date of the speech In Neceram is about 340 B.C. The speaker there states that Archias was punished for impiety, and the phrase t'ov lepofpavTiiv levop.evov implies that he ceased to hold the office. In this case he would ha\e resumed his original name, Archias. It is a matter of no importance for the question at issue whether he were dead or alive at the date of this speech.

4a. Eiipvfidcwv (Diog. Laert., v, 5, in I'l'/a Aristotelis). Aristotle fled to ChalciS, Ev^w^e^oivTO? ainov rod lepofpavrov tiKi^v ace^eius i^pa^afiivov. Here, as in the case of other non-contemporary men- tions, we may take Eurymedon to be the holy name. It is an epithet of several gods.

5 and 7. EipvKKeibti'i (Diog. Laert., ii, loi) ; "Xuiprjitoi {£pA. Arch., 1883, p. 82). I couple these two because they supply two in- stances of the use of a hierophant's name in his lifetime. Eurycleides is not an epithet of any divinity, and there is, therefore, no reason to suppose that it was the holy name. It is the original name of the hierophant used, perhaps intentionally, by the irreverent philosopher Theodorus. That the use of the original name was improper is clearly shown by the passage of Lucian's Lcxifi/mnes to which we owe the

Paton. — Holy Names of the Eleusinian Priests. 213

preservation of the word lepuivvfioi. (Lucian is of course making fun of the word and the institution, but this makes no difference.) E7r' evOvi evTv^j-^avu) lafoxiyyj le Kai lepoipavrn Ka\ Tot's aWois oppTjiOTTOtoifi ^etviav avpovaiv w/Stji' eV( njv ap-^rjv t'^y/fXT^/ia eTro'yoi'Te?, ot( lovofiacrev aoTov! KUt rat'Ta ev eidtd on, e^ ov-rrep wffiwOijffui^, oviovv^oi re e.iai vat ovKUTi ouotififfroi W't uv lepwpvfXOL rjhrj '^er'^eVTj/jevoi. Deinias was put in prison for his offence. This offence did not consist in revealing the holy names of the priests. These names could only have been known to him if he had been himself initiated by them. Their reve- lation would have been a violation of his initiatory oath, and would have entailed gra\er penalties. What he did do, as the phraseology of the passage clearly shows, was to address them by their discarded family names. The case of Chasretios stands on a different footing from that of Eurycleides, for here we have a hierophant named during his lifetime in a public document. A decree (3rd century B.C.) of the Eumolpidse and Kerykes in his honour begins thus : Se^oy^Oat Kripv^t Kat KvfioXnt^ai^ €7raiv€{Tat lou lepo(pav7rjv 'KaipTjrtov IlpoipTjTov 'EXevai'i'iov. There is no indication that XaiprjTtov has been added after the hierophant's death in a space left blank for the purpose, and it does not seem prima facie to be a holy, but an ordinary, name. This inscription is the only evidence upon which the view that the iepwvvfiia of the hierophant was a late institution rests. All we are justified in saying is however, not either that this hierophant had not changed his name, or that he had changed it but did not conceal the assumed name, but that he is in this instance designated by his original name. The universal usage of siate documents, and the passage of the LexipAanes, show that the use of the original name was generally improper. It is quite possible that for some reason unknown to us its use was permissible to the members of the priestly -{eyr), the authors of this decree. The phrase hpocpai'jrj^- . . . i TToTe <Pipfiot (see below. No. 20), in what is probably a fragment of a genealogy of the Eumolpidae, supports this view ; but, on the other hand, there are a good many instances (of late date) where the Eumolpidce and the other holy -ye'i/j; follow the official usage and do not name the hierophant. (See Topffer, p. 61.) Further discoveries may show that in the fourth and following centuries B.C. the quite un- essential rule that the use of the hierophant's original name should be entirely discarded, not only by himself but by others, had been re- laxed, and that in later times (especially after Hadrian) there was a recurrence to the strict primitive usage. The essential part of the lepwvvuia the change of name and the concealment of the new name, remained untouched throughout. As the office of hierophant was hereditar)', it is a justifiable surmise that Upo(pTjTrit is the holy name of the father of Chairetias

214 Mythological Section.

6. Nov^paSr/^ is given by T. as a hierophant's name, but the inscription here cited should be restored, 'UpocpavTrji ^ovcjipaZov (see 'Apx- Ae'X.Tio;/, 1889, p. 58), and sufficiently establishes the identity of usage in state documents of the 4th century B.C., and of later times.

Topffer's Nos. 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 17, supply further instances of this usage. The official name of the hierophant is simply iepocpavTijit. In the case of Roman names the nonien is added in place of the father's name.

12. K\av6(os ' kiToWivapios (C. I. A., iii, 1140). A certain Poly- zelos, who held the office of cosmetes not earlier than 180 A.D., dedi- cates, during his tenure of the office, a Hermes. He describes himself as uhehJ^'os l6po<pninov K.\avSiov ' AvoWivapiov ' A')(^api'£ws. This is no doubt, as Topffer points out, the KXaiiSwi iepocpavTi/s 'Axnpvfvs who appears in a list of prytanes about 190 B.C., and the ' A'TToWivdpios lepo(pavTqs the base of whose statue has been found at E]eusis {EpA. £pt£y'., 1883, p. 82). 'ATruXKwdpwiis doubtless his holy name : the arrangement of the letters on the Hermes of Polyzelos shows that this statement of relationship to the hierophant is a later addition, and we may conclude that it was added after the hierophant's death.

14, 15, 16, 18. Philostratus {Vii. Soph., ii, 20) gives us the life of an Athenian man of letters, Apollonius, who held the off.ce of hiero- phant. He says of him : 'H/)tt«rX,6/£ot; \iiv xal Aor^lfiov xal rXnuVot/ Kal 7WU rotovTwv lepotpdviwv ev(/)ujvta /jev uTTohewv. The names 'UpaKXm'Sris and VKaoKos are holy names of previous hierophants. Aoyifio.'; (if right) must be so also. As, however, it is exceptional in that it^ is neither connected with any god's name, nor bears a ritual sense, I should here suggest, for Ka'i Ao'^i'ftou, the substitution of toD iWor/lpov (the corruption is graphically not improbable). Apollonius is also the holy name ; the epigram from which my discussion of this question started (above, p. 202) is from the base of his statue. The base of the statue of Glaucus has also been found.

19. 'EpwTiof {C. I. A., iii, 718) is no doubt also the holy name, his statue being erected by his son after his death.

20. ^ipfjio'i (C /. A., iii, 1282); the original name, as is expressly stated.

21. It is quite uncertain that ' AvtIoxo" is the hierophant's name.

^ Adr^tfios does not, as far as I know, occur elsewhere as a proper name.


I MUST first thank the organisers of the Congress for generously giving me an opportunity to state certain conclusions and hypo- theses which are, I believe, opposed to those generally held by folk-lorists. It is, indeed, just because of this opposition, that I value the opportunity now given to me. For I am most deeply sensible of how much is still wanting to make of my suggested hypotheses, verified hypotheses, and so to transform them into theories properly so called ; and I cannot but hope that, in the criticism with which my hypotheses may be honoured, much will be said which will aid me in somewhat more nearly approximating to that accordance of Thought with Things which alone is Truth, and which alone is the aim of scientific research. But if I have been led to views opposed to those which have been so ably set forth by one of the most honoured members of the Folk-lore Society, Dr. Edward Tylor, let me bespeak your patience by saying that, on one main point of my hypothesis, I can support myself by an anticipation of it by Dr. Tylor himself. " It does not seem", said Dr. Tylor in his earlier Researches} " to be an unreasonable or even an over-sanguine view that the mass of analogies in art and know- ledge, mythology, and custom may already be taken to indicate that the Civilisations of many races have derived common material from a common source." This, however, was written nearly thirty years ago. And considering the available facts at that time. Dr. Tylor showed no more than due scientific caution in adding — " But that such lines of argument should ever enable the student to infer that the civilisation of the whole world has

' P. 368,

2i6 Mythological Section.

its origin in a parent stock is rather a theoretical possibiUty than a state of things of which even the most dim and distant view is to be obtained. Thirty years, however, have, as I have said, now passed since Dr. Tylor gave expression to this splendid, though cautiously worded, anticipation — thirty years unparalleled, perhaps, in the revolutionary character of their results in every department of scientific research. And what I hive now to say comes practically to this — that, taking due account of these last thirty years of research, what was to Dr. Tylor but a " theoretical possibility" in 1865, is now, in 1891, a theoretical probability, which may, by 1895, be an accepted reality.

Now, it will no doubt be readily admitted that our theory of the Origins of Mythology must depend on a more general implicit or explicit theory of the Origins of Civilisation. I must here, however, confine myself to the special question of the Origins of Mythology. And hence I will only state the three sets of facts on which my general theory of the Origins of Civilisation is founded, and which, as leading to a new theory of those more general Origins, lead also, as I submit, to a new theory of those more special Origins with which we are here more immediately con- cerned.

The first set of facts are those which tend at least altogether to overthrow current notions — or I should rather say current common- places, which our actions constantly belie — about the Equality of Human Races. Once a Race is definitively formed by the thorough amalgamation of the various ethnical elements of which it is composed, it becomes, through Heredity, analogous to a Species, and is marked henceforth not only by the most extraordinarily persistent physical features, but by no less extraordinarily persistent moral characteristics and intellectual capacities. Not less, therefore, in intellectual capacities and moral characteristics than in physical features have Whites, from the earliest historical ages, been distinguished from Blacks ; and, among the White Races, Aryans from Semites. Nay more. Though there is nothing we hear of more frequently in the School of Messrs. Spencer and Tylor than " Primitive Man", yet the fact is that, in the very earliest ages to which anthropological evidence goes back, we find at least two species of " Primitive Man". These are distinguished by Hamy and De Quatrefages as belonging

Stuart-Glennie. — Origins of Mythology. 217

respectively to the Canstadt and the Cro-Magnon type.i Both were palaeoUthic, both hved in the Pleistocene Period, and the Palaeolithic Age seems to have begun at least 200,000 years ago^; yet these probably coexisting species differed from each other in cranial type, as well as in stature, even more than Whites now differ from Blacks ; and there is even less evidence to show that one of these types was derived from the other than there is to show that the Neohthic was a descendant of the PateoHthic Man.' Instead of being descended one from the other, each was more probably descended from a different species of "Primitive Man" Which, then, of these two species of Man is to be regarded as the " Primitive Man" of these theorists ? If both are so to be regarded, how, with brainpans, and therefore brains, so extraordinarily different, could they both have had identical notions about things ? And if the " Primitive Man of Messrs. Spencer and Tylor is not the Pleistocene, but the Pliocene, or even Miocene Man, whose very existence is doubted, is it worth while following them in conjectures as to the character of his ideas ?

The second of the fundamental facts I have to note is, that in the only Civilisations of the origins of which we know anything, there were two races in conflict — in the earher Civilisations, a Higher White, and a Lower Coloured or Black Race ; and in the later Civilisations, if not Races ethnically thus distinguishable, economically thus distinguishable through the possession by the one and non-possession by the other, of the Arts of Civilisation. The evidence in support of such a racial conflict in Egypt is, I believe, I may now say, overwhelming. And for a like conflict in Chaldea, the evidence seems to be at least sufficient. For instance, one important fact indicative of the racial type of the Ruling Race of Chaldea is the portrait of Gilgames on a seal dating back to 3,800 B.C. I have myself seen in the De Sarzec Collection at the Louvre " Archaic heads", as they were labelled, which represent the highest type of White Man, and which were found among the most ancient remains of Chaldean civihsation yet discovered.

1 Crania Elhnica.

2 See Geikie, Prckistnric Europe, p. 559 ; and compare Ball, The Cattse of an Ice-Aee ; and review of same by G. H. Darwin, Nature, z8th .Ian. 1892, p. 291.

2 Prehistoric Europe, yi'). Compare also Agassiz, De t Espice et des Classi- fications, as cited by Le Bon, V Homme et les Sociith, t. i, pp. 179-80.

^i8 Mythological Section.

And some years ago^ I endeavoured to show that these latest ethnographical facts only verified those oldest kinship traditions of which Genesis presents us with Semitic variants.

Here I cannot even indicate all the historical and ethnological proofs of this Conflict of Higher and Lower Races. Time forbids. But so important does it appear to me to be with reference to the Origins of Mythology, that I trust I may be permitted to pause on it for just a couple of minutes, while I point out one or two of the unsolved problems of the history of Civilisation of which this Conflict appears likely to give a solution.

Sir Henry Maine, in his epoch-making book on Ancient Law, drew attention to the exceptional character, in Human Societies, of the phenomena we call progress. Innumerable Human Societies exist, and have always existed, which are no more distinguished by progress than are Animal Societies. Why ? The answer I would suggest is, that these Human Societies are no more distinguished than are Animal Societies by that Conflict of Higher and Lower Races, which, through the subjection of the Lower Races, gives the Higher Races wealth, and hence leisure and opportunity for the development of those higher intellectual capacities which would otherwise lie dormant — gives leisure and opportunity, in a word, for that development of Thought which is the core and cause of progressive history.

There is another problem, the problem of Matriarchy, on which I venture to think that this Conflict of Races may throw light. But I have elsewhere^ lately set forth my hypothesis on this subject at some length. And here I shall only say that I trust that those who may think my suggestion as to Matriarchy somewhat hazardous will not allow themselves, on that account, to be diverted from an impartial consideration of the other bearings of that Conflict of Higher and Lower Races which alone I would, as yet, put forward as a verifiable fact.

And on a third problem I venture to think that a due con- sideration of the natural consequences of this Conflict of Higher and Lower Races will throw light — the problem of the suddenness more particularly of Egyptian Origins. But as my attention has

1 April 1887. The Traditions of the Archaian White Races. Trans, of the R. Hist. Soc., New Series, vol. iv, p. 303.

' The Women qnci Folk-lore of Turitey, QomAniin^ Cha^xsys,

Stuart-Glennie.— (9r?^z«j of Mythology. 219

been specially called to this problem by Prof. Sayce, I shall post- pone my suggestion still he has stated what he may be disposed to say on the subject. And I shall now at once proceed to the statement of the third set of facts on which my general theory of the Origins of Civilisation, and hence my special theory of the Origins of Mythology, is founded.

This third set of facts consists of those exceedingly varied and exceedingly important results of recent geographical, ethnological, and archaeological research bearing on the Cradlelands of Races, their Migrations, Conquests, and Colonisations; and including facts as to Trade-routes, Ocean-currents, and Relics of Ancient Shipwrecks; as also facts as to the distribution of Megalithic Monuments, of pecuMar Weapons, and of special Artistic Designs, etc. Only on a Map could these facts be at once duly and briefly set before you ; and a Map, therefore, of the World, on which all these facts would have been indicated, I had hoped to be able to prepare for you. But I found the task beyond my individual means ; and, indeed, it should be undertaken rather by a Society than by an individual. And I must, therefore, make shift with these smaller Maps, on which I may, perhaps, be able to localise some of those facts which must, I think, be the scientific bases of any verifiable theory of the Origins of Civilisation, and hence of the Origins of Mythology, and of the Distribution, not only of Myths, but of Folk-tales.

First. Geographical Conditions. Former extent of European Ice-sheet, and of Eurasian Mediterranean. ^ Ocean-currents. Original Habitats and Distribution of Domesticated Animals, Cultivated Plants, and Historical Trees.

Second. Primary Seats of Civilisation : Historic and ascer- tained — Egypt and Chaldea. Prehistoric and hypothetical — Arabia and Central Asia (Schlegel, Uranographie Chinoise).

Third. Earlier Archaian Migrations — Southern (Dravidian) — Western (Hittites and Pelasgians, Berbers, Iberians, etc.).

Fourth. Semitic and Aryan Cradlelands.

^ The only map, as far as I know, in which this former Inland Sea, called by Huxley the " Ponto-Aralian" {Nineteenth Century, June 1891, p. 921), is laid down from the most recent researches is that which I drew to illustrate a paper read to the R, Hist, Soc, Nov, 1890,

220 Mythological Section.

Fifth. Semitic and Phoenician Migrations and Colonisations — Westward and Southward (South Africa).

Sixth. Aryan Migrations — Eastward and Westward.

Seventh. Later Archaian Migrations — Eastern — Elam to China (De Lacouperie) — Eastern Asia to the Islands of the Pacific, and to America.

Eighth. Southern Migrations from India to Australia. Indian Boomerangs — (Curr, Australian Aborigines, etc.)

Ninth. African Migrations (Stanley) ; and Traditions of Kaffirs and Hottentots, etc., in East and South, and of Tshi-speaking people, etc., in West Africa.

Tenth. Ancient Trade-routes — as from Chaldea to Sinai for Stone, in the fourth millennium B.C. — To Baltic for Amber from the third millennium (Jules Oppert) — From India to China, etc., etc.

Eleventh. Regions in which there is evidence either of the present or former existence of White Races in contact or conflict with Coloured or Black Races ; and also of the present or former existence of Dwarfs.

Twelfth. Distribution of Megalithic Monuments — Peculiar Weapons — Special Artistic Designs, etc.

Thirteenth. Regions in which there is evidence either of the present or former existence of Matriarchal Customs, either coincidently with a Conflict of Higher and Lower Races, or otherwise.

Now, while all this vast mass of facts was not known, or not collected, it was certainly quite justifiable to endeavour to account for the extraordinary similarity of myths and tales all over the world by what was undoubtedly, within certain limits, a vera causa, namely, the similarity of the human mind among all Races. But I venture to think that, considering the immense psychological differences between Races, notwithstanding certain general psycho- logical similarities, this mode of explanation has been carried further than facts will warrant ; and I venture to think also that, where this mode of explanation falls short, it is most amply supple- mented by such facts as those I have just indicated. Indeed, these facts of movement among Human Races have seemed to me not unfitly to call to mind those movements of the Starry Spheres, the discovery and recognition of which have created the New

Stuart-Glennie. — Origins of Mythology. 221

Astronomy. As in the Heavens, so, on the Earth, there have been movements — hot, as formerly beheved, only from east to west, but in all directions, east and west and north and south. Most, if not all of these movements have not only been directly or indirectly connected with the great centres both of the primary and of the secondary Civilisations, but have been going on —

Ohne Hast, Aber ohne Rast,

as Goethe said of the planets — not for centuries only, but for mil- lenniums, and probably for at least ten millenniums. And as discovery and recognition of the movements of what had been regarded as Fixed Stars renovated the Science of Astronomy, so, I believe, will recognition of the wonderful hither-and-thither move- ments of Human Races, and especially of the White Races, reno- vate the Science of Mythology.

But these remarks are only an application of the third set of facts I have indicated to the problem of Distribution. And we have now to see how all the three sets of facts indicated affect current theories of the Origins of Mythology. Note, then, that, in dealing with this problem on the bases of these facts of the Difference of Races, (2) the Migrations of Races, and (3) the Conflict of Races, we have to consider not only two different Ethnological Elements — a Higher and a Lower — but, as a consequence of this, two different Economic Elements — leisured and learned Classes, and labouring and unlearned Masses. Now, I am not here to dogma- tise in any way about problems which the more they are studied seem only more difficult. I am here simply to submit to you certain facts, as I venture to think them, and then to ask you, as I would now proceed to do, whether, if we accept these facts of Difference, of Migrations, and of Conflict of Races, we must not very seriously question certain current theories with respect to the Origins of Mythology ? And this I submit to you with the hope of gaining from your criticism light which may aid me in the further pursuit of my studies.

First, then, grant Differences of Races, Migrations of Races, and the Origin of CiviUsation in the Conflict of Races, must we not exceedingly question current theories of Primitive Man, and of his being even approximately represented by contemporary

222 Mythological Section.

Savages ? What Savage Race can we point to which, considering the facts I have indicated of Migrations, etc., may not possibly, and even probably have," in some indirect and distorted way, derived its Mythology from the great centres of Civilisation? Stanley's Dwarfs in Central Africa ? AVell, I will admit that they do not seem to have been thus influenced — but then, neither do they seem to have any Mythology, or any Religion. Then, again, as to Mr. Spencer's and Dr. Tylor's elaborate theory of Savage Philosophers not only observing Shadows and recalling Dreams, etc., but working out from these facts a reasoned system of Philosophy — nor that only, but — unlike Philosophers of a higher degree — coming all of them to identical conclusions, all over the world. This is a subject for a long paper rather than for a mere incidental allusion, and I regret, therefore, that time will not permit to say more here than this — Whatever truth there may be in this theory of Mr. Spencer's and Dr. Tylor's, it appears to me to be but a very partial truth, and that in nothing, perhaps, do the moral and intellectual differences of Races more clearly show themselves than in their conceptions of Nature; and I would ask you to judge of this conclusion by comparing, for instance, the Folk-con- ceptions of the Greeks, as revealed in their Folk-poesy, and the Folk-conceptions of the Chinese. The Origins of Notions of Spirits., that is a fundamental question for a really thorough treatment of the Origins of Mythology. But I can here only suggest the problem as one of which the solution given by the thinkers I have named seems to be far too simple for the facts.

Secondly, if all the Civilisations of which we have any know- ledge originated in the very complex conditions of a Conflict of Higher and Lower Races, then we must, I think, very seriously question the current assumption that different peoples necessarily pass through similar "stages'". Animal Organisms assume new forms, or enter into new " stages", not because of any inward necessity, but because of special outward conditions of Conflict ; and there is no proof whatever that it is not so also with Social Organisms. We have no proof whatever that any Savage People has passed independently into new " stages", and developed its Mythology in accordance therewith. And I submit that without the fundamental condition of a Conflict of Higher and Lower

Stuart-Glennie. — Origins of Mythology. 223

Races, we have no reason whatever to believe that Human Societies would not be as unprogressive as are those Animal Societies in which there is no such Conflict.

Thirdly, consider such a Conflict of Races as certainly was a condition of the Origins of the Egyptian and Chaldean Civilisa- tions, and will it not follow that the Egyptian and Chaldean Mythologies had at least three Origins ? The latest researches on Egyptian and Chaldean Astronomy have resulted in deepening our respect for, and indeed wonder at, the immense advances made even so early as 6000 b.c.i Is it credible that the Cosmogonic Myths of such observers and thinkers as their Astronomy proves them to have been, were in substance what they appear in form — mere childish fables — and this especially as we know that it was, as, indeed, it still is in the East, the custom, and perhaps the very wise custom, of thinkers purposely to express themselves in language which would have one meaning for the initiated, and quite a different meaning for the vulgar, but a meaning suited to their passionate ignorance, and their craving emotions ? And wc seem thus led to believe that the Egyptian and Chaldean Cosmogonic Myths — from which indeed all our Cosmogonies are derived — had probably, at their core, both facts and conceptions not far removed, in general character, from those of Modern Science; and that only in their mythical form were they puerile, but necessarily puerile, considering the undeveloped character as yet, not only of lan- guage, but of writing, and considering also the ignorance of all but the small class of Priests and Magi, and hence the manifest expediency of an exoteric doctrine very different from the esoteric.

But these Priests and Magi, proved as they are by their Astronomy, by their Arts of Government, and by their feats of Engineering, to have been incomparably higher intellectually than the Savage Philosophers of Mr. Spencer and Dr. Tylor — is it credible that such men did not record their Traditions, as well as their Cosmogonic Theories, in mythical forms ? Dr. Tylor and Dr. Brinton dismiss the Culture-hero Myths, as mere Sun- and Moon-myths, and consider it absurd to regard them as containing any core of historical tradition. But is it so ? If the founders of

1 See Hommel, Die Astronomie der alien Chatdder, in Das Ausland, Nos. 13, 14 19, 20, 1891. Compare Mr. Norman Lockyer's series of Papers in A'atu7e on Egyptian Temples as Astronomical Observatories.

224. Mythological Section.

the Egyptian and Chaldean Civihsations were, as appears now to be certain, White Races, who were, in Egypt and Chaldea, not Aborigines, but Colonists and Conquerors — White Races who had come from Southern Arabia as their Secondary Centre of Dis- persion, and, in all probability, from Central Asia as their Primary Centre of Dispersion, would not the Priests and Magi of this aristocratic White Race be careful to record its traditions of primaeval Homes ; of the heroic leaders of the Foretime who introduced the elements at least of Culture among the ttoKv

TrXijOoi nuBpwTTWv living aiaKTtos Kal wawcfi la 6epia — "lawlessly

and after the manner of beasts", as a Chaldean Magus and Historian actually records. Would they not record its traditions of whatever great events, such as a Deluge, may have occurred in that Foretime ; and not only its traditions of Culture-heroes, but also of Conquest-heroes — subduers of Beasts and Men ; and likewise its traditions of Kinship with other branches of the White Family of Mankind ? It thus appears probable that there was at least some core of truth in Paradise-, in Foretime-, and in Kinship-myths.i And it appears certain that the method of ascertaining whether there was such truth or not was just the reverse of that unfortunately adopted by the great and still lamented scholar, Fran9ois Lenormant. We must start, as it appeared to me, from the investigation of the earliest forms of these myths in the Egyptian and Chaldean Mythologies, and with these compare the unquestionably far later variants in the Semitic and Aryan Mythologies, and not make any one of these later variants, such as the Biblical, the standard of comparison. How far I have been successful in shovfing that primaeval historical traditions are to be found in these myths, it is for others to judge. Here I have only to point out that, if Civilisation originated in such a Conflict of Higher and Lower Races as appears certain, then the probability, at least, is that as one class of Myths, the Cosmogonic, or Philosophical, had their origin in scientific, and not merely savage, observations and conceptions ; so, a second class, the Historical, had their origin in reminiscences of actual events in the history of the early pre-Semitic, and pre-Aryan, or Archaian White Race.

But a Class of Myths, with still other Origins, has to be noted —

^ Traditions of the Archaian //7;//^ A'af^.v, as above cited.

Stuart-GlENNIE. — Origins of Mythology. 225

Myths which, as distinguished from the Philosophical and the Historical, I would name kut' tfo^i/i', the Sacerdotal. By these I mean especially all the Otherworld Myths. Few things have more struck me in the study of Folk-poesy — and especially I may say in the study of Greek and Keltic Folk-poesy —than the absence of any reference to, or belief in, Hell ; or the vague and very partial character of any such reference or belief In Egyptian and Chaldean Mythology, however, a prodigious development is given to this notion. The Eighteenth Century Philosophers, in theorising about the origin and development both of Religion and Mythology, may, perhaps, have made too much of the influence of Priests. But in view of such a Conflict as that in which Civilisation appears to have originated, it must have been so evidently the interest of the leisured and learned Class to develop and systematise all the germs of terrorising superstitions among the labouring and unlearned Masses that we cannot neglect this fact as a most important element in the development of Myth and Religion.

There is much more that I would desire to say ; for I have scarcely even touched on many points noted in the Abstract of what I proposed to say. But I have come here much more with the desire of hearing those who may honour my suggestions with their criticisms, than of stating my own views in anything but mere general outlines. And I will, therefore, add only one or two brief remarks which may possibly prevent misunderstandings that might otherwise arise.

One cannot properly define one's position with reference to Mythology without defining it also with reference to Religion. Let me say, therefore, that such an enlarged survey of historical facts as that which I have indicated seems to me to lead to some such enlarged definition of Religion as this. Religion is, subjec- tively, the Social Emotion excited by the Environments of Exist- ence, conceived in the progressive forms determined by Economic and Intellectual Conditions; and is, objectively, the Ritual Observances in which that Emotion is expressed. Thus defining Religion, it is eternal. Intellectual development, far from de- stroying it, will but purify and elevate religious emotion, and the forms of its expression. By no means can I agree with Professor Max Miiller in his theory of an original intuition of the Infinite.


226 Mythological Section.

That is not what we start from, but what we arrive at. For it is only Science, with the realisation it gives of the Relative and Finite, that leads us to the realisation of the Infinite and Eternal — that present Infinite and present Eternal which, to those who think and feel, alone makes endurable the Temporary and the Finite.


The Chairman said he had been extremely glad to hear this exposition of Mr. Stuart-GIennie's views on the matter. So far as he understood the present position of the anthropological school, which the lecturer attacked, it was something to this effect, that, for the purposes of anthropology, it was both possible and desirable to elimi- nate the consideration of hereditary varieties of the race of man, and to treat mankind as homogeneous in nature. He had touched on that this morning, but he was not cjuite sure whether the anthropological school was determined to keep to this position. It might have been a matter of method to have ignored races in the beginning, and he doubted whether they could have done as much work as they had done, if they had from the first trammelled themselves with the question of races, which no doubt mtroduced a great complication. But whether Mr. Glennie's views would e\'entually beat the others out of the field or not, the attack contained in them might not be without its results in any case.

Professor Sayce regretted that there was not time to touch on the various points suggested by the paper, and he would therefore con- fine himself to one point. The general impression left upon him by the whole paper was that we required a definition, to be accepted by everyone, of the terms Mythology and Myth. If myth, as distinct from folk-tale, was a product of civilised society, it was important to determine when, where, and how civilised society had sprung into existence. For some years he had devoted himself to a considerable extent to the study of the archfeologic origins of the population of the old world. Starting from his first belief in the unitarian doctrine of the progress of humanity from Barbarism to Civilisation and Culture, he had been slowly compelled to adopt the opposite view. In the first place, one could not find the beginning of Civilisation ; and in the second place, he was obliged to regard it as having originated in one particular part of the world only. He was thinking of Egypt, south of Cairo, where they ought to be able to study the progress of Civilisation and Culture better than anywhere else. From the evi- dence there, and also from that offered by Babylon — although the

Stuart-Glennie. — Origins of Mythology. 227

latter was not so clear— he was forced to the conclusion that Civilisa- tion must have originated, he would not say suddenly, but at all events in some definite locality of the earth's surface, and out of local conditions.

Mr. Andrew Lang said that Dr. Tylor had requested him to say for him in his absence, as far as he understood the point, that the inference to be drawn from Dr. Tyloi-'s book, published in 1865, and to which Mr. Stuart-Glennie had alluded in the beginning of his paper, was to the eiifect that he did not think that Civilisation was derived from one sole source. Speaking for himself, he thought what we wanted, among other things, was a definition of Civilisation. Mr. Stuart-Glennie had said that he believed civihsation to be the result of the conflict between higher and lower races ; but surely the higher race must at the moment of the conflict have possessed civilisation ; if not, in what had they been higher ? He was inclined to say that civilisation arose from the existence of one supremely-gifted race, so that civilisation did not cover the rest of the world. He observed that the lecturer traced the result of the supposed conflict until the higher race came out with white skins and rosy brides. But had there been no marriage-laws before that ? In that case civilisation must have been extremely rudimentary. What was the state of their marriage-laws, and how did they get it ? Were they to suppose that the first man appeared in the world with everything handy, with a ball of string and a box of tools ? He supposed that man had been naked, at all events until he broke a branch off' a tree. He must also have been devoid of all ideas, unless all these things, which he did not mean to deny, had been planted in him by a Supreme Being. However, he knew nothing about primitive man : he might have been an angel ; but the problem was one which would probably never be solved.

Mr. Alfred Nutt said that Mr. Stuart-Glennie had touched, in his short sketch of the development of organised mythology, upon the role which priesthood had played. He had given us to understand that a great number of the early myths had been held in one sense by the priesthood, and in a different sense by the people. That was such a reactionary point of view, that he, for his part, could never believe that the priesthood in general could have held these doctrines in an esoteric sense, and this theory could therefore not in the slightest degree serve as an explanation of the origin of these rites.

Mr. Stuart-Glennie said he would reply to the interesting re- marks and objections stated, in the order in which the speakers had followed each other. First, then, as to the remarks of the Chairman (Professor Rhys). It was probably true that more had been done by eliminating the question of differences of race than would have been

Q 2

^2S Mythological Section.

accomplished had these differences been taken into account in the prehminary stage of the incjuiry. But certainly Dr. Tylor and the other advocates of such elimination have not acted on any abstract principle of method, but on the dogmatic assumption of the homo- geneity of human races. And this assumption the verification of his (Mr. Stuart-Glennie's) theory would overthrow.

He could not but congratulate himself that Professor Sayce, as well as Professor Rhys, seemed inclined to adopt the fundamental principle of his general theory, namely, that the assumption by Dr. Tylor of a spontaneous development of Civilisation from Barbarism, in various independent centres, is altogether unverifiable, and that, in the words of Professor Sayce, we must " regard Civilisation as having originated in one particular part of the world only, and out of local conditions". Among these conditions, he supposed that Prof Sayce would include such racial differences, and hence such a Conflict of Races, as we have clear evidence of both in Egypt and Chaldea. And such a Conflict would, he ventured to think, afford the only means of explaining what he knew had greatly struck Professor Sayce, namely, the e.xtraordinary apparent suddenness of the origin of Civilisation in Egypt, nothing having been as yet discovered to fill up the prodigious gap between pateolithic instruments and the mega- lithic temple near the Sphinx, which necessarily implies a prodigious development of social organisation. But suppose an incoming Higher Race to have subjected and exploited Lower Races, would not even the first monuments of the Civilisation thus founded present just such a supreme advance on the monuments of the pre-Civilisation period as we do actually find in Egypt ? He further agreed with Professor Sayce as to the importance of getting a generally accept- able definition of the terms Mythology and Myth. But at present he would only venture to say that he would regard Myth as originally the product of the cultured classes of the Higher Races of a civilised society ; and Tale, or Story, as distinguished from Myth, as more especially the product of the Lower Races. But the Culture-lore and Folk-lore of a Civilised Society must be conceived as perpetually re- acting on each other, even as do the Higher and Lower Races, to which these products respectively more especially belong.

As to Mr. Lang's message from Dr. Tylor with reference to his (Mr. Stuart-Glennie's) quotation from him, he could only say that, fancying that this passage in Dr. Tylor's first book was a sort of adumbration of his own theory, he thought himself bound in candour to quote it ; but he could not be at all sorry to hear from such good authority that Dr. Tylor had not, even by such a passage as that quoted, anticipated him in a theory which appeared to gain fresh verification every day.

Stuart-Glennie. — Origins of Mytholog)/. 229

On his own part, Mr. Lang demands a definition of Civilisation. He (Mr. Stuart-Glennie) thought he could furnish it with less hesita- tion than he could a definition of Myth. Civilisation he would define as Social Organisation with Written Records, and hence development of Thoteght and Social Progress. These are the three characteristics of all those Societies which are not only properly, but ordinarily, termed Civilisations. With reference to his theory of the Origin of Civilisation from a Conflict of Higher and Lower Races, Mr. Lang has asked : " Surely, the Higher Race must have been already possessed of Civilisation ?" Why ? The Higher Race was simply higher in intellectual capacities ; and the subjection and exploitation of the Lower Races gave these Higher Races the wealth and leisure which were the necessary means for the development of these capacities. In a word, he (Mr. Stuart-Glennie) would solve the problem of the Origins of Civilisation, first, as an ethnological, and, secondly, as an economic problem.

Finally, as to Mr. Nutt's denunciation of his (Mr. Stuart-Glennie's) suggestion with reference to Priesthoods as " a most reactionary doctrine", he would simply ask Mr. Nutt whether it is not the fact that very large numbers of the Christian Priesthood do at this moment hold the exoteric doctrines of Christianity in an entirely esoteric sense ? As to ancient Priesthoods, Professor Sayce and others have pointed out that one of the great difficulties in inter- preting ancient sacerdotal writings arises from the effort of the writers to conceal rather than expound their ideas. And it was hardly necessary to add that one of the most characteristic features of Oriental literature to this day is the twofold meaning of many of its works— an exoteric and an esoteric meaning ; a meaning for the vulgar, and a meaning for the initiated.

[Though I did not venture, as above, to reply off-hand to the ques- tion of Prof Sayce as to the definition of Myths, I may perhaps now, in passing these pages for press, be allowed to make the following suggestion : — Myths are expressions either of the Relations of Facts to each other, or merely — and more commonly — of the Impressions made, or desired to be made, by Facts, or the Records of Facts, and always in forms determined by the earlier more concrete conceptions of Nature, and hence, more concrete symbols of Language^


I HAVE frequently been asked, "What is Voodoo worship?" frankly I answer, " I don't know." It seems to be like the old woman's recipe for fruit-cake — " a little of this, and a little of that, and a little of most anything, but a heap depends on your judgment in mixing. " To be strong in de haid" — that is, of great strength of will — is the most important characteristic of a " Cunjerer" or "Voodoo". Never mind what you mix — blood, bones, feathers, grave-dust, herbs, saliva, or hair — it will be powerful or feeble for good or ill in proportion to the dauntless spirit infused by you, the priest or priestess, at the time you represent the god or " Old Master"

How then must we set about obtaining this "strength of head" ? Alexander — "King Alexander", as he insists on being called — prescribes the following initiation :

" Go to the woods in the dimness of the morning, and search through them until you find two small saplings growing so near together that when the wind sways them the upper parts of their trunks rub against each other. Climb up to where the swaying trunks have rubbed the bark perfectly smooth. Gather two handfuls of bark, one from each tree (the higher you climb for this purpose the higher your rank in Voodoo craft is destined to be). Take this bark — from what kind of tree it comes is no matter, though it is likely to be hickory — put it into a gallon of rainwater, and boil it until there is but a quart of the decoction. Add a pint of whiskey, and drink it all at one draught if possible, at one sitting, as a necessity of the case. In the old time, in the outlandish country, or Africa, the fermented juice of some herb was used to produce ecstasy, but whiskey answers every purpose. This dram may make the novice very drunk, but no matter for that, he must hide himself and sleep off the effects of it. For nine days after taking it he must keep away from human kind,

Owen. — Among the Voodoos. 231

sleeping in the woods if possible, and eating little or nothing. During this time he must give his mind to a consideration of the power and strangeness of the new life upon which he is about to enter. He must sleep as much as he can, and pay great attention to his dreams. Dreams that come at this time are all fraught with meaning and prophecy. Some object he will dream of he will at once feel is his peculiar fetich or medicine. When the nine days are over he must present himself to the conjurer who is to be his teacher."

Alexander expressly states that a man's teacher should be a woman, and a woman's should be a man. His instructor was a man, but one night he dressed in woman's garb, and the next his master assumed the undivided raiment. Then begins the pre- paration for full membership in what Alexander, Arthur McManus, John Palmer, Aunt Stacie, Aunt Dorcas, and others call " The Circle" This preparation consists in learning the " Luck num- bers" (not lucky numbers), a simple feat, "for seven is a lucky number to cunjer or hoodoo by, but nine is better ; three is a good number, but five is better." Four times four is the Great Number. Neither the devil nor his still greater wife can refuse to assist in the working of a charm with that number "quoted in". " Sometimes devils are contrary, just like folks", Alexander ex- plains, " but they can't help giving in to four times four times four. Ten is the unlucky number. At the first lesson the student receives a secret name by which he must call himself when he is working spells. Alexander's name is Eminaw.

The second initiation — the one I received from Aunt Dorcas, a little, lame, poverty-stricken old black woman, whose ability to "fetch luck" evidently did not extend to herself — was as follows :

" Go at midnight to a fallow fields go bare-footed, bare-headed, walking backward, and not looking on the ground. Stoop down in the field, reach your hand behind you, and pull up a weed by the roots. Run home, fling the weed under your bed, and leave it there until sunrise. At sunrise strip off its leaves, make them into a little packet, and wear it under your right arm for nine days. At the close of the ninth day, take the packet, separate the leaves and scatter them to the four winds of heaven, throwing them, a few at a time, over your right shoulder as you turn round

232 Mythological Section.

and round, so as to have them fall east, south, west, and north. What dreams you have during the nine days are warnings, con- sequently you must carefully consider the " sign" of them. For instance, if you dream of fire you will have trouble in getting your witch education. If you dream of honey bees you will be a successful conjurer (Dorcas never said "Voodoo"), and receive money and presents. As soon as your leaves are scattered you are ready for lessons. In passing, it may be as well to state that the more leaves there are in your weed, the more exalted will be your rank in sorcery.

After the numbers are learned, a season is given to acquiring knowledge of the value of certain vegetable remedies and poisons, such as snake root, smart weed, red clover, mullein, deadly night- shade, Indian turnip or " Cunjor John", mayapple, etc., together with the proper times (all times are regulated by the moon) of gathering and administering the same. There is nothing mys- terious in this much of the profession : any old woman who has an herb-bag has the same simples as a witch, and plants that which is to grow mostly under ground in the dark of the moon, that which is to go to leaves and blossoms when the moon is waxing ; gathers all beneficent things when the moon is full, the same as she does.

Afterwards it is imparted that charms and tricks are of four degrees. To the first degree belong the good tricks which are hardest to perform, because it is always harder to do good than evil. Of this class are "luck balls", "jacks", and other fetiches prepared and then endowed with a "familiar or attendant spirit in the name of the Lord" For this class the formulas all begin, " The God before me, God behind me, God be with me." John Palmer said "THE God" always. Alexander said it sometimes. All close with, " I ask it in the name of the Lord or God."

Here is a complete formula as I took it from the lips of the Great Alexander when he was preparing a luck-ball for Mr. Charles G. Leland:

"The God before me, God behind me, God be with me. May this ball bring all good luck to Charles Leland. May it bind down all devils, may it bind down his enemies before him, may it bring them under his feet. May it bring him friends in plenty, may it bring him faithful friends, may it bind them to him. May

Owen. — Among the Voodoos. 233

it bring him honour, may it bring him riches, may it bring him his heart's desire. May it bring him success in everything he under- takes. May it bring him happiness. I call for it in the Name of God."

These kind wishes sound a good deal like a Christian prayer, but you should have seen this ancient, ill-smelling, half-naked, black sinner as he rocked himself to and fro, now muttering in a whisper, now raising his voice to its ordinary conversational pitch as he repeated the good wishes over his materials, four skeins of white yarn, four skeins of white sewing-silk, four leaves and blossoms of red clover, four bits of tinfoil, four little pinches of dust. Over and over he said the words : I couldn't keep count of the times, but he said that as he tied each knot in the yarn and silk, he carefully said his charm four times. Four skeins, four knots in each skein, four times muttered the formula for each knot. And then the whiskey and the saliva, no prayer surely ever had such an accompaniment ! The king had a bottle of whiskey beside him, and filled his mouth therefrom every time he tied a knot. Half of it he swallowed, and the other half with a copious addition of saliva he sprayed through his jagged stumps of teeth upon the knots. When all were tied he spat upon the clover, the tinfoil, the dust, and declared that his own strong spirit was imparted with the spittle. When he had gathered the several components into a little ball he spat once more, violently and copiously. " Dar," said he, " dats a mighty strong spurrit. Now to keep it dataway wet it in whiskey once a week."

" Shall I spit on it, or tell Mr. Leland he must ? " I asked.

He looked at me with scorn, and made reply that we neither of us had any strength, ■\^'e had nothing to spit out.

Last of all he breathed on the ball and shed, or pretended to shed, a tear. Then the ball was done. It had a spirit in it to work for the one for whom it was named.

"Go to the woods, Charles Leland," commanded Alexander, dangling the ball before his eyes, "for Im going to send you a long way off, an awful long way, across big water. Go out in the woods now and 'fresh yourself. Do you hear me? Are you going, are you going 'way off? Are you climbing? Are you climbing high? " After a long pause Charles Leland was invited to return. Was asked if he had started back from the woods, if he was drawing nearer, if he was back in the ball.

234 Mythological Section.

To all this "Charles Leland" replied by causing the ball to dance and spin in the most delirious manner, and by a murmur sound- ing now far now near, something hke the coo of the wood-dove, but it was oo-oo, oo-oo, not foo-ool, foo-ool, as the dove calls to those who penetrate miasmatic woods. Then there was another shower- bath of whiskey, after which the ball was wrapped, first in tinfoil then in a silk rag. I was warned at the time to tie no knots in the wrappings : such knots would tie the spirit up helpless. This thing is to be worn under the right arm.

As an illustration of the power of the sorcerer's spirit, Mymee and Alexander tell a story of Chuffy the rabbit. He had three arrows, one of which he spat on before he shot at the sun. It fell into the water. The second he breathed on : the wind carried it away. The third he wetted with a tear, and nothing could impede its flight. It made a hole in the sun, and from that fell fiery blood that almost burned up the world. Indeed, nothing was left but some trees on a sandy island in the midst of a great river. The trees and river would soon have shared the general destruction had not Chuffy shed another tear into the waters, and thus kept them from drying up.

This same Chuffy had the most potent luck-ball that ever was made ; it looked like silver, and was brought into existence by the devil's wife. The story of it is too long for insertion here.

It may not be out of place to mention that the left hind-foot or right fore-foot of one of Chuffy's descendants, especially if it be a graveyard rabbit killed " in the dark of the moon", may be used instead of a luck-ball.

Better still is the " swimming bone" of a toad. The " swim- ming bone", as Arthur McManus explained to me, is "the one bone of the hop-toad's body that will not sink when dropped in water".

A mole's right fore-foot is also a good-luck piece. These things are not prepared ; they are powerful, because parts of sorcerers.

To the second class belong the bad tricks, charms and fetiches made in the name of the devil : those queer little linen, woollen, or fur bags, or tiny bottles filled with broken glass, bits of flannel, hair, ashes, alum, grave-dust, jay or whippoorwill feathers, bits of bone, parts of snakes, toads, newts, squirrels, fingers of strangled

Owen. — Among the Voodoos. 235

babes and frog-legs — this last component being especially neces- sary, because in the old time the devil made the moon to illu- minate the night for the convenience of his votaries. As the Good Man had used up all the material of the universe in his creations, the devil or Bad Man took a frog, skinned it, and made it into a moon.

To the third class belong all that pertains to the body, such as nails, teeth, hair, saliva, tears, perspiration, dandruff, scabs of sores even, and garments worn next the person. These are used in conjurations and charms for good or ill, not alone, but with other things. I will illustrate their use by a story told me by Alexander. He said, " I could save or ruin you if I could get hold of so much as one eye-winker or the peeling of one freckle." Then he went on to make his meaning clear by giving a scrap of biography.

Just before the civil war, in the days when he was a slave, he lived for a short time in Southern Missouri, "nigh de big ribber." He had an enemy, a conjurer also. The enemy affected friend- ship, invited him to his cabin, and offered him refreshments, of which Alexander refused to partake. " Dar wuz spiders in de dumpHns and hell in de cakes," he explained, "and I dassent eat 'em, but I 'greed ter stay all night."

Both men lay down on a bed on the floor. The guest pre- tended to fall asleep. Presently the host cautiously raised him- self up and peeped into the face of the other, to see if he was asleep, There was bright firelight in the room, cast from the great open fireplace where many dry logs were burning. Alex- ander breathed heavily, and, as he said, held his face like a stone, though he was watching through a crack in his eyelids. The host reached a pair of scissors towards the sleeper's head. Alex- ander stretched out his hand and struck down the advancing arm, at the same time muttering a curse upon the musquitoes.

Both lay quiet for a while, then the scene was re-enacted. Again and again this was repeated, and all this time each man was willing with all the strength that was in him that the other should sleep. Finally Alexander prevailed. " I'd been a cunjurer longer than he had, and my will was made up strong," said the victor.

While his host slept, Alexander arose, took his (the host's shoes) and scraped the inside of the soles — they had been worn without stockings. Then he took the man's coat and scraped the collar

236 Mytliological Section.

where it had rubbed his neck at the edge of his hair. The fire was out then, and he had no light but a little grey streak of dawn coming through the chinks of the wall. He stole forth with the scrapings, put them into a gourd with red clover leaves, alum, snake root, and the leaves and stalks of a mayapple. Then he put the gourd into the river and said, " In Devil's name go, and may he whose life is in you follow you." The very next week the un- fortunate "cunjered" conjurer was sold and sent down the river. " But no one could touch me," said the old man, " for I cun- ji^red master and all of 'em."

The fourth class is composed of " commanded things", such as honey locust thorns, parts of " sticks", sand, mud from a crawfish hole, wax from a new beehive, things that are neither lucky nor unlucky in themselves, but may be made so. No charms are said over them : they are merely " commanded" to do a certain work. Take, for instance, the locust thorn, used innocently enough as a hairpin or dress-fastener, but which when " commanded" proves a terrible little engine of mischief A small rude representation of the human figure, made of mud from a crawfish-hole or wax from a beehive, when named by a conjurer and pierced by a thorn of his implanting, is supposed to make the man for whom it is named deaf, dumb, blind, crazy, lame, consumptive, etc., according to the place pierced. Worse still, the one killed or maimed will after death " walk" till judgment day. A prolific maker of uneasy ghosts is the " commanded thorn".

After each lesson, both pupil and teacher of witchery get drunk on whiskey or by swallowing tobacco-smoke. I feel it necessary, however, to state that I was an honourable exception to the rule, although I did find it necessary to set forth spirituous refreshment for my teachers. I must add to this, that maids and bachelors do not progress very far in the degrees of Voodooism.

After the preliminaries I have mentioned, the pupil begins to make some acquaintance with Grandfather Rattlesnake and the dance held in his honour. The origin of the dance was in this wise :

In the old times Grandfather Rattlesnake and his sister lived together ; so say Mymee and a dozen other darkies of my acquaintance. The sister's disposition was as sweet as his was bitter. As he was very wise, many men and animals came to him

Owen. — Among the Voodoos. 237

for instruction, which he gave freely ; but as he took leave of a disciple he always stung him. The sister, in the goodness of her heart, immediately healed the poisoned wretch, who then went off with all the serpent wisdom he had acquired. Finally Grandfather became so enraged that he changed his sister into snakeweed. As such she still heals, but not so freely as formerly, for she cannot go to the afflicted; they must come to her.

Since that time men, warned by the sister's fate, have not willingly approached Grandfather very nearly. They find it best to dance about him, and thus absorb the shrewdness and cunning he really cannot help giving out. As a further precaution they render him almost torpid by giving him a young rat, bird, or toad just before the dance begins.

The dance itself has no method in its madness, I have been told. The participants, who are not all Voodoos by any means, have been on short rations or none for nine days ; they are full of tobacco-smoke or whiskey, and their nerves are still further excited by fear of the snake and the god or devil he represents. They howl in any key, without words or rhythmic sounds, the same as they do at a rehgious revival or camp-meeting. Sometimes they circle wildly about, with their hands clasping those of the persons next them ; sometimes they jump up and down in one spot, while they make indecent gestures or twine their arms about their own naked bodies. They keep up this exercise until the greater number of them fall exhausted, when they have a rest, followed by a feast of black dog and, Arthur McManus says, kid. Four conjurers — two men and two women — cook the meat and distri- bute it.

The fire-dance is for strength of body, as the snake-dance is for strength of mind. I have never heard of anything being eaten at this dance. The same ceremony, or lack of ceremony, in the dancing is observed.

Any wood may be used for the fire except sassafras or maple. During the dances to the moon they chant — what I know not — and circle round with rhythmic motion, which sometimes changes into a rapid trot. I have never seen a moon-dance, nor more than a glimpse of the others, but I am sure my information is correct. The reason I am sure, I may state in parenthesis, is because every participant in the dances denies that he has been

238 Mythological Section.

present, but accuses his fellow-sinner, with whom he has had a quarrel, and described what the offender has stated he did : " AVhen he wuz thes so drunk that his tongue runned off with him." The full moon is by common consent given as the time for these exercises. What the dance means I do not know, and cannot find out. It seems very much like the Hottentot dance to the moon which that Dutch traveller, Peter Kolben, describes as taking place as early as the year 1705. He says :

" The moon with them (the Hottentots) is an inferior visible god. They call this planet Gounja, or God . . . they assemble for the celebration of its worship at the change and full, and no inclemency of the weather prevents them. They then throw their bodies into a thousand different postures, scream, prostrate them- selves on the ground, suddenly jump up, stamp like mad creatures, and cry aloud : ' I salute thee ! thou art welcome ; grant us fodder for our cattle and milk in abundance.' These and other addresses to the moon they repeat over and over, singing ' Ho, ho, ho !' many times over, with a variation of notes, accompanied with clapping of hands. Thus in shouting, screaming, singing, jumping, stamping, dancing, and prostration, they spend the whole night in worshipping this planet."^

The dances of the ghosts of the departed conjurers also take place at the full moon. All I know about this is that Aunt Mymee was said by other negroes to be able to appear in two places at once, to take any shape she pleased, and to know what people were saying and doing when they were miles away. This, they said, was because she had found out where these " hants" met, had watched their exercises to their close, and had asked and received her heart's desire. Anyone as bold as she is may ask and receive aid of these shades, it is said. The snake- and fire-dances may take place any time : that is, anywhere that policemen are not hkely to come. The moon-dance must be in an open space in the woods.

There is a sacrifice of a black hen to the moon. Alexander said that Arthur McManus had no better sense than to sacrifice a

1 "The Voyage of Peter Kolben, A.M., to the Cape of Good Hope." Vol. iv of The World Displayed ; or a Curious Collection of Voyages and Travels. Selected and Compiled from the Writers of all Nations, by Smart, Goldsmith, and Johnson. 1795.

Owen. — Among the Voodoos. 239

black hen and white rooster, and then wait for luck when he ought to be making power for himself I do know that all negroes, and not a few white people who have been raised with them, believe that black hens, split open and applied to the body warm, will cure typhoid or bilious fever, and stay the progress of cancer.

For sacrifice, Alexander says the way to kill the hen is to slit her side and let the entrails protrude, then turn her loose ; she will run a little way, then jump up into the air, crow like a cock, and die instantly without any struggle. I asked what was then done with her. He said, " Nothing."

Under date of December 20th, 1889, a distinguished scholar asked me these questions :

" Where are these dances held ? I mean, in what district or districts ? How is it possible that large gatherings can be con- cealed from observation ? What is the nature of the hierarchy ? Is your King Alexander a king among these people ? Have you yourself seen the dances? How could you otherwise be initiated? If you have not access to these, can you not procure the attend- ance of some male friend ? This is a matter certain to be dis- puted, and which requires, therefore, strong testimony."

When I read these questions I sat down before them in despair. I have always lived among negroes and among white people familiar with their peculiarities and superstitions. For the first time in my life I reflected how small, comparatively, is the number who do understand our Americanised African population. How could I describe to the man who knows him not the cunning, simple, cruel, kindly, untruthful, suspicious yet credulous, super- stitious negro, who sees a ghost or devil in every black stump and swaying bush, yet prowls about two-thirds of the night and sleeps three-fourths of the day. The old-fashioned negro, who is des- tined to have no son like him, who conjures in the name of his African devil on Saturday, and goes to a Christian church, sings, prays, and exhorts, and after " meetin' " invites the minister to a dinner of stolen poultry on Sunday. Finally, I answer these questions briefly, and, like a good Methodist sister, "relate my experience".

" Where are these dances held ?"

Anywhere in the woods and fields of North Missouri. I know

240 Mythological Section.

nothing of what is done elsewhere. The last one of any size that I knew of was just outside of the corporation limits of St. Joseph, in a wooded dell surrounded by high hills. It was given out among the dusky brethren that a camp-meeting revival of rehgion would be held at that place. The revival lasted a week, and was followed, after the preachers and more respectable attend- ants left, by a fire-dance. The police had no authority to inter- fere at that place, even if they had had knowledge of the gathering. I did not know anything of the dance until it was over, and certainly would not have risked my life by attending if I had been invited. The secret was disclosed, as all negro secrets are in the course of time, by those who held it quarrelling and accusing one another.

" How is it possible that large gatherings can be concealed from observation ?"

The gatherings are not always large, but, large or small, they can be hidden in the woods, or even in that negro settlement, a suburb of St. Joseph called Africa. They are no noisier than a revival or an ordinary ball. Think a minute of what a people are like who will say, as a pretty and pious mulatto house-girl said to my sister : " No, Miss Ella ; I didn't go to the ball. I'd loaned out my razor, and it hadn't been sent back. Her successor, a girl who could read and write, and sing by note, in complimenting another entertainment, said : " It was so quiet and nice ; only two pistol-shots were fired all evening." These girls, bear in mind, are of a superior grade to the Voodoo and his chents. A little howling, more or less, does not arouse suspicion, unless somebody runs for a surgeon.

" What is the nature of the hierarchy ? Is your King Alexander a king among these people ? "

There is no hierarchy. Alexander is the head-man in the Voodoo circle that meets after church is over in the African Methodist Church, but his title of King he probably gave himself.

" Have you yourself seen the dances ? How could you other- wise be initiated ? If you have not access to these, can you not procure the attendance of some male friend ? "

I have never had but a glimpse of a dance, and that was when a child. As I have said before, I rely not on the testimony of

Owen. — Among the Voodoos. 241

those old rascals who have instructed me, but on the proof fur- nished by those who quarrel and accuse each other.

A dance is not an initiation : that is done with leaves or bark, as I have said. I don't know what a moon-dance is for, but the other two are considered as remedies rather than ceremonies. As for getting a male friend to do anything for me, I've never found one who would entertain the suggestion for a moment.

"Peril life and reputation among those beasts?" exclaimed one. " Not I ! It will be better for the world when they and all knowledge of their vileness die out."

My knowledge of Voodoos began at an early age. Aunt Mymee Whitehead, or, as some called her, "Aunt Mymee Monroe", was my nurse. She has always wished it understood that she is the daughter of the devil. Her mother was a Guinea woman, a conjurer also, who inspired such fear and hatred that the people rose against her to kill her. She fled on board a slave-ship, and was brought to this country — to what part Aunt Mymee did not know. Soon after landing Mymee was born, and was sent with her mother to Kentucky. When ten or twelve years old they were brought to Missouri. I may remark here that Aunt Mymee, a pure-blooded Guinea, and Alexander, half Guinea and half Cherokee Indian, are the only two conjurers I ever heard speak of themselves as Voodoos. The others, while practising the same rites, invariably speak of themselves as Witches, men or women, or conjurers. Their humble admirers, however, frequently speak of them as " Voodoos", and of their deeds as " Noodoos".

Aunt Mymee gave me the first glimpse of her secret business by importuning me to get from my grandmother some amaranth seeds. When I insisted on knowing what she wanted with them, she acknowledged she wished to make them into a little cake which would make any who ate it love the one who handed it to him. That sounded reasonable enough to anyone as fond of all sorts of sweeties as I was, so I procured the seeds, and had the cake made up.

Not long after I heard other servants of the family say that Mymee had surely conjured me, for I followed at her heels like a dog that had eaten shoebread.

Afterwards, partly by coaxing and partly by watching, I learned to make a trick or two, and came to know of the existence


242 Mythological Section.

of some being called Samunga. When you go for mud, call


" Minnie, no, no Samunga, Sangee see sa soh Samunga."

Perhaps this may be the Gounja of the Hottentots.

King Alexander I met for the first time the ist of July 1889. I had heard of him for years, but he had a way of slipping in and out of town that made it hard to interview him. With some friends I drove to the house where he was staying. It was a hot day, and he sat in most unkingly state outside the door on a wooden chair tipped against the wall.

As I looked at him I thought, " Well, you are the most uncanny old nigger I ever saw; as I drew nearer, I added, " and the dirtiest."

He had on but two garments: a shirt, of which the original colour was lost, with the sleeves torn off above the elbow, and open in front, so that one could see all of his chest and some of his ribs. His trousers had evidently been made for a shorter and stouter man.

When he saw us he shut his eyes. When we asked if he was Alexander, he opened his eyes and said, " Yes, I am the great Alexander, King Alexander," and closed them again.

My sister-in-law at once applied herself to the business in hand by saying we were unfortunate people who wish to buy some good luck. We would like to get a "jack", or something of the kind.

"Now you's foohn'. Duno nuttin' 'bout dat. I'se a Church member, I is, thes come up from Boone County foh a little visit."

"Are you King of the Church."

" Dat thes is my entitle. Go 'long, ladies, I ain't de one you a huntin'."

"I am sorry", said I, "for I know something about conjuring myself. For instance, I can make a trick of stump-water, grave- dust, jay feathers, and baby fingers that can strike like lightning." Instantly his manner changed. He flew at us like a bat, and clung to the side of the carriage. It required no persuasion to have him appoint an afternoon to visit us and "projeck" on things.

He came the evening of the 3rd of July. Brought with him

Owen. — Among the Voodoos. 243

some "enemies' dust", and materials for a " luck -ball" for Mr. Leland, and a "hand of love", which last insures marital felicity. He drank a good deal of whiskey, sang songs, told rabbit, bird, and ghost stories, assured me I was strong enough in the head to make a good Voodoo, boasted extravagantly of his power over the fair sex. " I've alius been a pet," he said, showing his fiery red gumS; bare of teeth except for a few discoloured snags, and roUing his great black lips in an awful grin. "All I haf ter do is to say ' lubly lady, yo' obfustercate my wits, my thoughts follow yo' ez de shedder follers de tree'."

As he took leave he promised to send me a teacher.

Instead of a man coming, as I expected, an old black woman walked up to me in a butcher-shop, and, taking me on one side under pretence of asking for work, told me of the initiation of leaves. She would have gone out without mentioning her name, had I not asked it. This was Aunt Dorcas.

A week later my sister-in-law sent me word that John Palmer wished to see me He had been to her house, ^^'e called on him the next day, and wasted several hours listening to him tell how pious he was, and what visions of heaven he had had. When we were entirely out of patience^ and ready to depart, he whispered he was talking for the benefit of the neighbours, but would meet us and would talk " sho 'nufif" the day following.

At that meeting he told us of the circle's meeting late at night in the church, and laughed with most unholy glee as he explained that the sexton was one of their number. He explained the great powers of " Cunjer John", or " Indian Turnip, and taught me to make a "Jack" of equal parts of alum, sulphur, salt, and " Cunjer John". A bad trick, he explained, was made with the red seeds of the turnip and the other ingredients, the "lucky Jack" with the white root. He also gave me a great deal of information about the medicinal virtues of plants, explained about luck-stones, and the curative powers of snakes and black dogs. He then offered to conduct me to the meetings of the circle. I asked him about the mysterious cases of poisoning among the negroes. He knew nothing of them, but said it was told that 'twas obeah stuff brought up from the south.

" By Alexander ? "

" Gord, missey ! I ain't namin' no names." That was all I could get. R 2

244 Mytlwlogical Section.

I met Alexander and John Palmer a number of times after that, and gleaned from them what information I could. Sud- denly Alexander disappeared, but no one thought anything of that. He likes to make his movements as mysterious as possible.

I next hunted up Arthur McManus, or rather my sister-in-law hunted him for me. He is second in importance in the circle, but he certainly is the worst rogue I ever met. He is a mulatto, and terribly crippled. He looks as if he had a bad case of rheumatism, but he says he was conjured by Mandy Jones, another member of the circle, before he turned witcher-man. He told me very nearly the same things the others had, and added that if I wished to turn a trick back on the one who set it for me, I must find it and throw it in running water.

He said that if you wish to drive your enemy mad, it is better to get one of his hairs and slip it inside a slit in the bark of a tree. When the bark grows over the hair, the enemy's intellect is gone for ever. " That", said he, " is better than sticking thorns into images."

Another use he had for hair was to have it summon people. " If you take several hairs from your head, name them for the person you wish to see, place them in a bottle of rainwater, and set them near the front door of your house; the person named will start for that spot as soon as the hairs swell and turn to snakes, which will be between the second and fourth day. For nothing can withstand the power of snakes."

Arthur it was who explained about the " Goat without horns". He knew it was offered up in the "outlandish country", and "way down south", but had never seen it done. He said the offering of a child or a kid without horns was "to seem to be something it stood for". When I could not understand, he illustrated with a story.

Before the civil war, when he was still a slave, he saw the real " Goat without horns". It was one night down in Arkansas. He was a field hand, and lived in a cabin, but his sweetheart, Mary Jane, lived in the big house (the planter's house) as chambermaid. On the night in question, he, with his sweetheart and her mother, Aunt Melissa, the cook, concluded to go a few miles down the road to do some trading with an old man who kept a little store, and often bought stolen goods from the negroes in the vicinity.

Owen. — Among the Voodoos. 245

So Arthur stole two horses out of the pasture, mounted one, and took Mary Jane up behind him, while fat old Aunt Melissa followed along on the other. His errand was to dispose of a bag of produce he had "hfted" from the field. Mary Jane and Aunt Melissa meant to do a little pilfering from the storekeeper while Arther was bargaining. The night was cloudy, and there was very little light, but they went along very pleasantly until they came in sight of the store. They rode around to the side of it, intending to hitch the horses to a fence that enclosed the old man's garden. All of a sudden the clouds swept from the face of the moon, road and garden were flooded with light, and they saw before them, with its fore-feet on the fence, a creature they at first mistook for a dog, but another instant revealed that it was a great hornless goat. That moment it gave an awful cry, unlike any other sound ever heard, and vanished. The horses reared, snorted, trembled, then bounded off towards home, and did not slacken pace until they reached their own bars. Arthur said the only reason he hadn't fallen off was because he was too stiffly fixed in his place; his legs were cramped against the horse's side. As for Mary Jane, her arms were about him, her fingers locked in front of him, and she was squeezing the life out of him. " Let go, Mary Jane," he managed to gasp, at the same time putting a hand on hers. As soon as he felt her hands he groaned out to Aunt Melissa, " Mary Jane is dead ! " Aunt Mehssa felt her. " She is dead," she said. "Then", said Arthur, "don't turn your horse loose, for it will whinny for mine and wake the white folks. Ride to a cabin door and get help." Soon they had half-a- dozen stalwart men helping them. Finally they managed to get that awful death-grip unlocked. Then they slipped her into the house, carried her upstairs, and laid her in the bed she shared with her mother.

By that time it was almost daylight, and Arthur and his helpers stole away, leaving Aunt Melissa alone with her dead. Im- mediately she shrieked and alarmed the white people, whom she told, when they came to her, that she had just waked and found her daughter cold by her side.

When some one went to the store to leave orders for nails for Mary Jane's coffin the old man was found dead on the floor. " So 'twas him the goat went for," concluded Arthur,

246 Mythological Section.

I have interviewed a score or more of conjurers, some in the circle and some out, and have heard from them many queer stories, charms, and superstitions, but where they varied from what I have related they were modified or borrowed entire from their white or red acquaintances. I did not know this until I began to read folk-lore magazines, and had accumulated a great many facts that did not belong properly to Voodoo practices at all.

Before closing I must tell one little experience I had at Plattsburg, a small town about forty miles from where I live. I went there to see two famous Voodoos, but could get very little. All I could learn from the man — and I learned that because he wanted to make a sale — was that rattlesnakes' rattles worn in the hat would cure headache and prevent sunstroke. The skin worn around the waist would cure rheumatism, the heart swallowed whole would cure consumption — " because grandfather willed it so."

My other call was on Aunt Ellen Merida, an enormously fat yellow woman, with a cracked soprano voice and a husky laugh. She greeted me effusively, and in the presence of the neighbours, who dropped in by twos and threes to see what I wanted, lectured me severely on desiring to have dealings with the Old Master, or Devil. She and her daughters then sang a hymn beginning —

" O' wasn't Nora a foolish man, Buildin' his house on dry Ian'! O' Nora, Nora, Nora, No, Nora wasn't no foolish man," etc.

After that she told me of trances she had had. At such times she had been caught up to the highest Heaven, and once she had seen a man's life judge him. He was laid on a white pavement before the great white throne, and his heart's blood ran out in two streams and formed writing ; and one writing told of his good deeds, and the other of his bad.

"That's very fine," I said, "but you will get no money from me unless you tell what I want to know.

I rose to leave, and she took me to an inner room to give me " God's blessing"; and what do you think she said ? "Come back at full moon, honey, or a little later, that's the time for cunjerin', it's too early in the month now."

Of Other interviews with Alexander, of strange tales of the

Owen. — Among the Voodoos. 247

power of Doctor Lemmons, the Leavenworth Voodoo, whom Alexander was accused of poisoning, I shall be glad to speak some other time, if anyone will listen ; but now an inner voice whispers to me, "You've talked quite long enough; come back some other day when the moon has changed." That is, I have talked quite long enough of myself and my " prentice" work, but there is among you a White Voodoo quite as high in rank as any African Voodoo in the world. I refer to Mr. Charles G. Leland, who, at this moment, probably holds in his hand one of those rare and precious black, kidney-shaped " cunjer-stones", which, in itself, is all-powerful for good or ill, as its possessor shall dictate.

Even Alexander is not so happily circumstanced as our Cau- casian " cunjer-king", for Alexander has never, with all his wiles, been able to lay hands, violent or otherwise, on a "cunjer-stone", but has attained his "strength" by slow and toilsome processes, by fasts, by spells, by study, by uncanny feasts of dog-meat and rats' brains, by foulness that may not be named.

Have I made myself clear as to the power of the " cunjer- stone" ? Understand, pray, that nothing is required of him who holds it. Possession is not only nine points of the law, it is all of the law ; it is initiation, it is knowledge, it is power. But few of these stones are known to be in existence. I know of but two. I have heard the guess hazarded by Palmer and McManus that there are perhaps six in the United States. They are said to have been brought from Africa (or the "outlandish country", as the negroes call it), and are handed down through famihes as their most precious possessions. They are supposed to "work" most rapidly when the moon is full or just beginning to wane. At other times, if a little slow, they can be quickened by a libation of whiskey, or, if evil is to be wrought, by a sprinkling of red pepper (here let me say what I neglected to mention in its proper place, that all bad tricks have their malign force increased by cayenne pepper).

As to the past history of "cunjer-stones", it is lost in the mists of antiquity. Any old negro you meet will tell you they are all- powerful, and always have been, but no negro, old or young, whom I have met with has been able to inform me why or wherefore, or when first invested with power.

248 Mythological Section.

The one held by our honoured Vice-President, our Romany Rye, our Oriental scholar, our world-known Hans Breitmann, our Voodoo King, was stolen from its unworthy owner, a dissipated and malicious negro, who practised on the superstitions of his race that he might live in a brutish and debased idleness. It fell into my hands. I brought it overseas to Mr. Leland.


The Chairman, in opening the discussion, said that the incanta- tion of " God before me or abo^'e me, at the right and at the left, and e\erywhere" also occurred in one of the oldest prayers to St. Patrick, and also in the Welsh literature.

Mr. TcHERAZ explained that in the old Armenian language the word " Woo-hoo meant sorcerer, which word had also passed into Turkish.


There seems to be a general belief all over the world in the magical property of saliva, and we find people applying it in a great many ways, and for a great many purposes. I find these fall, roughly, into five great classes : I shall give one or two examples of each ; doubtless many others will occur to. you as I proceed.

Firstly, people spit to ward off ill-luck from themselves or others. Instances of this are afforded us by the Yorkshire custom of spitting when one meets a white horse ; by the Zulu custom of summoning a sorcerer to spit when a dog gets on the top of one's house! ; by the Hungarian custom of running to a tree, boring a hole in the stem, and spitting three times into it, should one hear the cuckoo for the first time in spring when one is in a recumbent position^ ; and by the Minahassan custom of spitting when one mentions the name of one's parents-in-la^', to prevent an attack of boils.

Secondly, people spit to protect themselves or others against sorcery or witchcraft, and particularly against that form of it caused by the evil eye. For example, PJiny^ recommends us to spit in the eye of everyone that limpeth, or is lame of the right leg, when we meet them; and Miss Garnett* tells us that at the recep- tion held by an Osmanli mother, after the birth of her child, each visitor is expected, after looking at the baby, to spit on it, and conceal her admiration by applying to it some disparaging remark.

Thirdly, people spit to prevent themselves catching infection. For example, the Greeks used to spit thrice in their breasts when they saw a madman, and Pliny- tells us that when we see

1 Leland, Gypsy Sorcery, p. 18. • N'aturalist in the Celebes, p. 280. ^ Nat. Hiit., xxviii, 4. ■• Women of Turkey, vol. ii, 475,

250 Mythological Section.

anyone taken with epilepsy we ought to spit on them, " so that we ourselves avoid the contagion of the said disease."

Fourthly, people spit to cure disease in themselves or others, or transfer infection. For example, when persons rub their warts with fasting-spittle, in the belief that it will take them away, or spit in the drug they mean to administer to an invalid, or anoint his diseased limb with their saliva, or when, as Mr. Leland tells us, in Hungary the man suffering from an attack of fever goes to a tree, bores a hole in its stem, spits thrice into it, and retires after repeating the spell :

" Fever, fever, go away, Here shall thou stay."

Fifthly, people spit at the making of a bargain, or at a compact of any kind. For example, Parry,i in his first voyage, tells us that whenever the Esquimauxof River Clyde Inlet were presented with anything, they licked it twice with their tongues, after which they considered the bargain satisfactorily concluded. And Mr. Hen- derson, in his Folk-lore of the Northern Counties,^ relates how in his schooldays the boys used to spit their faith when required to make asseveration on any matter deemed important, and says : " Many a time have I given and received a challenge according to the following formula : ' I say. Bill, will you fight Jack ?' 'Yes.' 'Jack, will you fight Bill?' 'Yes.' 'Best cock spit over my little finger.' Jack and Bill both do so, and a pledge thus sealed was considered so sacred that no schoolboy would dare to hang back from its fulfilment.

Lastly, in Masailand, Mr. Thompson^ tells us that, when he purchased a bullock, the bargain was not finally concluded till the Masai had spat on the head of the animal, and his men had done the same on the beads they were going to give in exchange.

I believe two theories have been advanced to account for this superstition.

The one generally offered, and which bears on its face a certain degree of probability, is that people spit in order to get rid of something pernicious within themselves. That is undoubtedly

' First Voyage, vol. i, p. 279.

0/. cil; p. 32, ^ Masailand, p 166 (ed. 1887)

Crombie. — The Saliva Superstition. 251

true in the case of the Messalians, whom Dr. Tylor tells us spat and blew their noses to expel the demons they had drawn in with their breath, and might partly explain one or two others of the cases I have mentioned. Another explanation is that people spit to show their humility, and the believers in this idea point to the case mentioned by Pliny of spitting in one's own breast when one craves pardon of the gods for any particularly audacious request. It may partially explain this particular instance.

But I do not think that either of these theories will explain the reason of the Masai spitting on his bullock, and Mr. Thompson's men on the beads ; nor will they explain the reason why the mere act of the stranger's spitting on a baby when he looks at it, should at once free him of all suspicion of desiring to bewitch it. The last instance is particularly curious, for one would imagine, that if an individual is suspected of entertaining malevolent designs, the less one has to do with him the better. And that above all things, such a very magical thing as his saliva should be tabooed instead of welcomed. It seems to m.e that the only theory that will answer this somewhat anomalous case, and explain the majority of the cases we meet with, is that at one time the Hfe of a man must have once been generally believed to have been bound up in his saliva ; just as it can be shown that the life of a man has been very generally believed to have been bound up in his blood. And that therefore the spitting rite is a parallel to the blood rite.

This is what Professor Robertson Smith says about the latter : " The notion that by eating the flesh, or particularly by drinking the blood of another human being, a man absorbs its nature or life into its own, is one which appears among primitive peoples in many forms. It lies at the root of the widespread practice of drinking the fresh blood of enemies, and also of the habit observed by many savage huntsmen of eating some part of dangerous carnivora, in order that the courage of the animal may pass into them. But the most notable application of the idea is in the rite of blood brotherhood, examples of which are found all over the world. In the simplest form of the rite two men become brothers by opening their veins and sucking one another's blood. Thenceforth their lives are not two, but one. . . . This

252 Mythological Section.

form of covenant is still known in the Lebanon and in some parts of Arabia."!

The mainspring of the blood covenant, then, is that the blood is the vehicle for the conveyance of the life. But it would appear that saliva is sometimes regarded as the vehicle containing the life also. For instance, we read that every year the Khonds^ offered a human sacrifice to the Earth Goddess ; and while any relic from his person was much sought after, a drop of his saliva was considered a sovereign remedy, especially by the women. Now we know that Algonkin" women who wished to become mothers flocked to the side of a dying person, in the hope of receiving and being impregnated by the passing soul ; and we know also that among the gipsies^ of Eastern Europe one of the most potent charms for bringing about pregnancy is the drinking by the woman of water into which her husband has spat. It would appear, therefore, that the idea present in the minds of Algonkin, Khond, and gipsy women is the same. All believe in the transference of life, only the one takes a more ethical view of it, while the others take a more materialistic one, and fix upon saliva as the vehicle for the conveyance of it.

I think, then, that I am right in saying that the element of life is sometimes believed to exist in the saliva.

Now we generally find that when the same idea is attached to two different objects, these objects become interchangeable. Therefore, if our reasoning is sound, and blood and saliva are both vehicles containing the element of life, we ought to find saliva being used occasionally in place of blood, and playing the same role under similar circumstances. We might, therefore, expect to find among some savage races a custom analogous to the blood covenant of the Lebanon, when, instead of licking each other's blood, the two individuals would lick each other's saliva.

The nearest approach to such a very primitive state of affairs is met with among the Masai. Among this people, Mr. Thompson-' tells us that spitting expresses the greatest goodwill and the best wishes. People spat when they met and when they parted ;

1 Religion of the Semites, p. 295. 2 lyn^ Tribes of Khondistan, p. 54. ^ Golden Bough, vol. i, p. 139. ■• Gypsy Sorcery, p. 101.

Masailand, p. 166.

CRO^[BIE. — Tlie Saliva Superstition. 253

and the part spat upon seems to have been just under the nose.

However, even with the Masai, the custom was evidently in a state of decay, for Mr. Thompson mentions that they did not insist upon spitting on him, but contented themselves with merely going through the form .

That examples of the actual personal interchange of saliva should be rare need not surprise us. Instances of the actual sucking of blood are also comparatively rare ; for, as civilisation proceeded, the drinking of human blood would become repulsive and performed symboHcally only. Thus Speke' mentions that among the Unyamuezi the most sacred bond known is made by commingling the blood, which they perform by cutting incisions in each other's legs, and letting the blood trickle together. And just as the use of saliva would probably mark an epoch of milder and less brutal manners, so we would expect to find it following on the lines of the milder, and less repulsive, forms of blood covenant, and expect to find many more cases of commingling it than consuming it. That is indeed the case, and instances of comminghng the saliva are numerous. For ej^ample, in the " Younger Edda" we read that the Aesir and the Vanir made a covenant of peace, and in token of it each party stepped up to a vessel, and let fall into it their saliva. In South Hungary, Mr. Leland^ tells us that on Easter Monday the gipsies made a wooden box called the bichapen — " the thing sent as a gift" " In this, at the bottom, are two sticks, laid across as in a ' cradle', and on these are laid herbs and other fetich stuff, which everyone touches with the finger, then the whole is enveloped in a winding of white and red wool, and is carried by the oldest person of the tribe from tent to tent, after which it is borne to the next running stream, and left there after everyone has spat on it. By doing this, they think that all the diseases and disorders which would have befallen them during the coming year are conjured into the box."

In Newcastle, also, on the occasion of the colliers beginning an agitation for increased wages. Brand tells us that it was customary for the men to spit on a stone together, by way of cementing their confederacy. We have already seen how Mr. Henderson and his

1 Speke^syourKd^, p. 96. 2 Qypsy Sorcery, p. 15.

254 Mythological Section.

schoolmates spat their faith. So, just as the Unyamuezi com- mingle their blood, so the Newcastle collier, the Hungarian gipsy, the ancient Scandinavian, and the North Country school-boy commingle their saliva at the making of their solemn compacts. May we not infer that both practices are due to a common belief in the interchange of life, and therefore of the making of the interests of both parties identical ? But it may be objected that, in by far the larger number of cases we meet with, the spitting is entirely one-sided, and there appears to be no trace of its ever having been mutual. Precisely the same thing takes place in the case of blood under certain circumstances, when, for instance, the persons are relatives. For example, we are told that the Carib^ father, on the birth of his child, is accustomed to let some of his blood trickle over it, in order to hand on the strong pure life of the clan to the puny little infant ; and the Australians, at their initiation ceremonies, either let the blood of old tribesmen flow over the novices, or else give it to them to drink, with the same meaning. If the one-sidedness of the bleeding does not vitiate the life-theory in blood, neither ought the one-sided- ness of the spitting to vitiate the life-theory in the case of the saliva.

Now if we look over the instances of one-sided spitting, we will find that many of them take place between relatives. For instance, we are told that Mahomet, when Hassan his grandson was born, spat in his mouth. With the Carib practice before us, we can hardly doubt but that the motive is the same. AA'e also read that, at the conferring of its praenomen upon a Roman child, part of the ceremony consisted in the aunt or grandmother lustrating the child with her saliva. It is true that in the last example we are told that it was believed that the lustration prevented the child from being bewitched- ; but this, I think, instead of weakening my plea, that the original idea of the ceremony was the handing on of the family life, considerably strengthens my position. For if we reflect that the general symptoms of a case of bewitchment are the gradual wasting away of the person bewitched, and enormous diminution of vital energy, owing to the magical withdrawal of the bewitched person's

1 Rochefort, Hist. nat. el mor. des hies Antilles, p. 552 ; Frazer, Totemism, p. 45. " Brand, Popular Antiquities.

CroMBIE. — The Saliva Superstition. 255

life, we can understand that the most natural way to prevent a fatal issue would be to increase the store of life in the sufferer as much as possible. We shall, perhaps, understand this better if we first look at the curative application of saliva. For example, you will recollect a curious recipe Pliny gives us for curing a crick in the neck. It consists in rubbing the sufferer's thighs with another man's fasting-spittle. It was also the favourite cure of my old nurse for our growing-pains. Then everyone knows that it was by the direct application of his saliva that our Saviour cured the blind and dumb.

Now let us see if blood is ever used as a salve for curative purposes. There are many examples. Among certain tribes in Australia,! we are told that it is usual, when one of their number is sick, for the other members of the family to draw blood from their own bodies, and give it him to drink ; and among the Guamos of the Orinocco we read that it is the duty of the chief, on the occasion of a clansman falling ill, to draw some blood from his own body for the purpose of anointing the stomach of the invalid, and thereby infusing new life into his vitiated system. But we have seen that life is believed to be existent in the saliva, and capable of being transferred in it. Therefore, when we find instances of people spitting to cure disease of any kind, I think we may infer that they are really actuated by the same motive as the Australians or the Orinocco chiefs when they give their blood to their sick tribesmen.

And now we may understand the full significance of the spitting at the Roman lustration ceremony. It does not keep witchcraft away : it only makes the child better able to resist and survive it. Why ? Because its weak store of life has been implemented with the strong life of its maturer relatives passed on to it in their saliva.

In the same way, I think we can account for the practice of spitting to avoid infection ; and an instance quoted by Mr. Turner of what he saw done in Samoa seems to throw some light upon the question.^ He tells us that among the Samoans, when a man was ill, his relatives used to assemble to "confess and throw out", as it was called. That is to say, each man confessed whether he had wished the invalid any evil, and, in order to show that he

1 Frazer, Tolemisin, p. 45. ^ Samoa, p. 141.

256 Mythological Section.

revoked all his imprecations, took a little water in his mouth and spurted it out towards him. Now if, alongside of this, we place Pliny's advice to spit on anyone whom he may see taken with an epileptic fit, we can easily see that the original idea of spitting might have been to cure the invalid, by the transference to him of a fresh instalment of the tribal life. But how does that account for the belief that the spitting will prevent the onlooker from taking infection ? Let us direct our attention to Mr. Turner's example, and let us suppose that, when all the family assemble to "confess and throw out", one member conspicuously absents him- self. It seems to me that his friends would have some grounds for suspecting him of having cursed the sick man, and been the cause of his illness. And as we find that, generally speaking, primitive retribution partakes of the " eye for an eye" character, it is conceivable that the absentee would in turn be cursed by the rest of the family, and wished the same disease as he had wished the invalid, and would, out of sheer terror, probably take ill. It would, therefore, be politic for all the friends of the sick man to attend at any ceremony of the kind. Nor need the ceremony necessarily be confined to members of the invalid's family. Any? one who came in contact with him might be suspected of harbouring malicious designs, and the only way for such a person to avoid suspicion would be to spit. Hence it would be wise for anyone who came in contact with any invalid to spit in his presence, thereby testifying his willingness to give his life to make the sick man strong, and disarming suspicion and its conse- quences.

Further, if we accept the idea that the life of the family or clan may sometimes be believed to be in the saliva, we can explain the custom of a stranger spitting on an infant when he looks on it, or on a witch when he meets one. Here, as before, we get the hint from the blood rite. " On one occasion", says Living- stone,! " I became a blood relation to a young African woman by accident. She had a large cartilaginous tumour between the bones of her forearm, which, as it gradually enlarged, so distended the muscles as to render her unable to work. She applied to me to excise it, and, when removing the tumour, one of the small arteries spurted some blood into my eye. She remarked, when I ' Travels in South Africa, p. 489.

Crombie. — The Saliva Superstition. 257

was wiping the blood out of it, ' You were a friend before, now you are a blood relation ; and when you pass this way, always send me word, and I will cook for you'."

Then Burckhardt,i in his book on the Bedouins, tells us, if A, a thief, having been caught by B, is being abused by him, can manage to spit on C, C is bound to defend A against B, and even kill B in A's defence, although B be a tribesman of his own. Now, if a speck of blood in Livingstone's eye converted him from a friend into a blood relation of the African woman, if a speck of saliva turned an Arab of a hostile tribe into a friend and de- fender, is it too great an inference to draw that the spitting on a little child, or on a witch, was performed with the same intention ? In the one case it was prompted by goodwill, and meant to show that the spitter, so far from wishing the baby ill, was wishing to join his life to it in a bond of brotherhood. In the other it was prompted by fear, and done with the object of turning one who might be hostile into a friend, and therefore rendering the employ- ment by her of her occult arts both unlikely and unnatural. And if instead of "witch" we write "bogey" of any kind — death, for in- stance, and the numerous objects symbolising or foretelling it — we can explain a thousand-and-one cases of why people spit. A curious confirmation of this theory has just been afforded by Professor Rhys. He mentioned incidentally, while criticising Mr. Leland's paper on " Etruscan Magic", that in the Isle of Man it was believed that if one could scratch a witch or an enemy with a pin, so as to draw a little of their blood, it deprived them of the power of injuring the person who performed this operation. It is the converse of the reason I give for spitting on a witch, and exactly parallel to the reason I give for the spittle of a suspected person being considered such a signal proof of friendship. The idea underlying the bloodletting and the spitting is, however, the same. The merit lies in the belief that " ae corby winna pick oot anither corbie's eyne". Nor does it appear to me to detract in the least from the plausi- bility of my theory that on rare occasions the spitter spat in his own breast. We know that the spittle of South Sea Island chiefs is buried with them in some secret place where no sorcerer can find it. We also know the precautions taken to destroy hair

^ Bedouins, p. 92.


258 Mythological Section.

and nail-parings for the same cause. That a man spits in his breast only shows that he is torn by two superstitious ideas, and is attempting to sit on the rail. I think, too, that my theory ex- plains more satisfactorily than any other I know the practice of the Hungarian who dreads an attack of fever, or actually has an attack of fever, going to a tree and spitting into its stem. It seems to me that we see in both cases a very old belief in a changing and changed state. For an explanation of it we must go back to long-forgotten times, when the Hungarian worshipped trees as gods, considering that they were endowed with a divine life that was shared in by himself, and believed that their divinity would protect, and was bound to protect him when threatened with danger or disaster of any kind. And if we think of that, and if we recollect how the priests of Baal, at the contest between the god of Tyre and the God of Israel, shed their own blood at the altar in order to recommend themselves to their deity, whom they believed was bound to look after them, we may see that it was the same idea of establishing or renewing a physical bond between himself and his deity that drove the Hungarian, when the impend- ing disaster threatened him, to fly to the tree and spit. That ultimately the materialistic idea of spitting merely to throw out disease should have overgrown the older and more religious idea need not surprise us. Examples of the same kind meet us on all sides ; this one only further confirms the truth of the statement that the religion of one age becomes the superstition of the next. I do not know whether I have succeeded in convincing you of vsrhat I started out to prove, that just as there is a " blood cove- nant", so there is a "saliva covenant", and that both rest upon the same conception. Still less do I know whether, in attributing the extensive use of saliva to a belief in its being the vehicle of life, I have hit the real reason of the curious custom, and answered the question of why men spit ; for the ways of primitive man are not our ways, neither are his thoughts our thoughts. Perhaps the best that can be said for my theory, and all I claim for it, is, that it introduces a little method into the seeming madness of a wide- spread and curious superstition.




OCTOBER 6th, 1891.


I DO not propose to give you a formal address on the opening of this section, as I have no pretension to speak as an expert. I can approach the subject only as an outsider and amateur. My proper sphere of work is the science of law, which has several interestmg points of contact with the studies now classified under the general head of Folk-lore — but points of contact only. The science of Law is nothing if not formal, and folk-lore is nothing if not informal. I believe that folk-lore is a young and growing science — aggressive, like all growing powers. But what- ever folk-lore can do, it cannot include the study of documents deliberately framed by legislators.

Now, in jurisprudence — and not less in the comparative and historical branches than in the practical ones — we have to deal with institutions, so to speak, in their finished form. A great deal of our work consists in the study of elaborate documents in one form or another, and the same consideration, even in a higher degree, applies to legal institutions. In the forms in which the lawyer has to deal with them, nothing, as a rule, can be called spontaneous ; it is a manufactured product, or, at all events, a version of the original material which has passed through more or less editing — generally more. This apphes even to those elements of law which are customary and popular as compared with modern formal legislation. A lawyer cannot deal with a custom unless the custom is presented to him in a definitely stated form ; and popular customs, assuming that they are really popular to begin with, acquire an artificial character in the process of statement. The documents, for example, on which we have to rely for a knowledge of mediaeval customs, date from times when it was almost impossible to get documentary evidence at all without its passing through the hands of one or more persons who had received a clerical training, and who would not feel much hesitation in editing the facts in accordance with their

262 institution and Custom Section.

own language and habits of mind. All our so-called customary codes, all our evidences of actual popular usages, as far as they can be understood by a lawyer, have passed through some such processes of clerical editing, and cannot be called evidence, or at best but second-hand evidence, of anything that is comprised in folk-lore. Allowance has also to be made for an element of deliberate manipulation in the supposed interest of scientific and exact statements, and that process of manipulation often extends to wilful alteration. Therefore the historical or comparative jurist has to guard himself against being too ready to suppose that he is deahng with popular material. Take, for an example, the customs of Enghsh manors, which contain a great deal of curious and interesting matter ; we find a great many curious customs prevailing in many parts of the country, which, no doubt, are archaic as compared with the general and common law. But, for my part, I should consider it extremely risky to rely upon the evidence of these customs, taken by itself, as proof of very ancient usage, whether general or characteristic of a particular district. All the documents date, at earliest, from a time which, to the student of folk-lore, is extremely modern — that is to say, from the Middle Ages. It is quite possible that what appears to be a peculiarity of local custom may, in some cases, be nothing but the peculiarity of one individual, steward, or scribe, which was imitated by a limited number of persons who used his documents as precedents or "common forms". Or you may have deliberate imitation of something which is not local custom at all, but im- ported within comparatively recent historical times. All these things must make a lawyer extremely cautious before he feels sure that he has really a point of contact with folk-lore.

Again, another result of our having to deal with our institutions in what I have called the finished form, is that we get results without direct evidence of the process by which they have been obtained. We find sometimes that customs are fixed or crystal- lized by legislative declarations that such and such a rule shall continue to be observed. But, except by a lucky accident, we get no evidence of the process by which these rules have been arrived at, or by which those customs were acknowledged in society. It may happen that a particular author who had some antiquarian taste has preserved us just a little piece of fact or

The Chairmmis Address. 263

explanation which gives us the right link. Thus some passages of Roman lawyers enable us to compare archaic institutions of Roman law under the Repubhc with the Hindu law still flourish- ing in full force in our Indian Empire. The practical moral of these difficulties, in whatever branch, is that we need a wide basis of comparison; and this is more and more forced upon us as we extend our researches. If we are to get beyond mere guess-work, we must have the means of verifying not only posi- tively but negatively. \<!& must not only be able to make hypotheses which explain the facts we are dealing with, but we must make sure that we have not omitted some important element in our facts, or in a kindred group of facts, which the hypothesis will turn out not to fit. This danger is so constantly occurring in every branch of what may be called constructive history, that I think we may in all branches profitably learn from each other. I may, perhaps, without presuming too much on the licence of an amateur, give you one or two instances throwing fresh light on some points of the history of legal institutions of which I happen to know something, and which have their points of connection with folk-lore proper through the early history of religion. You will probably be all more or less acquainted with Maine's great work on Ancient Law, a book which, notwithstanding the author's express and repeated warnings that he had not substantially revised it, is still largely used by students, who assume that there is nothing to be added to it. One of the questions dis- cussed by him in that book is the Origin of Contract, illustrated almost exclusively by the history of Roman law. In his explana- tions he follows very closely Savigny, a great authority, both dog- matic and historical, on Roman law, and perhaps, on the whole, the greatest authority on historical jurisprudence who has ever lived, the very founder of the modern science of law. The theory adopted by Maine from Savigny is that contract is the outcome of an imperfect handing over of property ; that from giving property comes the idea of lending, from lending the promise to give back, and thence the modern system of enforcing promises in general, both in Roman law and in other systems. But the elaborate theory of Savigny and Maine fails, I think, to arrive at the right solution in this case, because it was not applied on a sufficiently wide field. The modern view, I think I may say with

264 Institution and Custom Section.

confidence, is entirely different. The work of the last generation tends to show that the origin of contract, /.«., of promises being enforced by law, is not to be sought in that direction at all, but in sanctions which were at • first only religious, and were later adopted by the sovereign power in the State. We find in Roman antiquities the strong tradition of a social and religious cult of Fides, of good faith between man and man. This, and other and similar things, together with a good deal of Greek evidence, and a certain amount of Oriental evidence, point in one direction, and suggest that religion enforces promises long before the sovereign power takes any account of them. And curiously enough, that precise process has been repeated in the history of English law in the Middle Ages.

The other instance I will give you is to illustrate not so much the danger of generalising without a sufficiently wide comparison, but the need of distinguishing between formal and substantial history of institutions. There is an extremely interesting mediaeval institution called " Trial by Battle", of which, no doubt, you have already heard. I take myself a great interest in it, not only as a student of mediaeval law, but also as an humble follower of the noble science of arms. If you ask for a precise date, it is forth- coming. The judicial combat was instituted in the beginning of the sixth century, viz., in 501, by King Gundobald of Burgundy, as a less evil than unlimited perjury. But I suppose none of you will believe that people did not before the end of the fifth century settle their differences now and then by a fight not strictly judicial, but yet conducted with some sort of idea of being on equal terms, with somebody to see fair-play. There are traces of its being an extremely ancient Celtic custom, and indeed something of the kind is recorded among the Spaniards at the time of the campaign of Scipio. When we depart from the perfectly definite fact that " Trial by Battle" was ordained in 501 by King Gundobald, and inquire how far back it existed as a custom, and among what races, we find a great want of definite information. We can only say that information of that kind may sooner or later be found, and we may perhaps discover what, so far as I know, is still obscure, whether " Trial by Battle was originally connected with anj' religious sanction or not.

Another example of the kind of question on which extreme

T)ic Chairman's Address. 265

caution is needed is this : how far particular institutions or cus- toms of an archaic character existing in civilised countries are to be called non-Aryan. For one thing we have to be perfectly clear what we mean by non-Aryan : do we mean something peculiar to non-Aryans, or only something that is not specifically Aryan, that is to say, common to Indo-European races, or to other races of mankind ? There are some customs, such as eating and sleeping, which are obviously neither Aryan nor non-Aryan, but simply human ; and a great many customs about which people have wrangled, claiming a monopoly for some particular race, may turn out, as our observations extend, to be general human nature. On the other hand, when we say that a certain institution is non-Aryan, we may mean, and we ought to mean — if we use the word with a definite point — that it is specifically something else. It may be that we can discover among Aryan institutions points which can be traced to the survival or imitation of institutions specifically belonging to other races. Any definite evidence of that kind that can be got is, of course, of great importance for the historical re- construction of archaic society, but the mere fact that institutions and practices are common to Aryan and other peoples, only shows that they are not specifically Aryan. It is quite open to question whether there has been any borrowing at all, and whether re- semblances may not be due to the resemblances of human nature, and of adaptation to similar circumstances. I may say that, for my own part, I believe that all arguments adduced to prove that English institutions are substantially Celtic, are founded on the simple resemblance of similar stages of development in different, but not widely different, branches of the Indo-European family. When we come to verify details of coincidences, of borrowings or imitations — in the history of institutions as well as in languages — it has often been observed, and will no doubt continue to be observed, that things have a- perverse way of refusing to happen in the logical and convenient order which would enable posterity to arrive at results without much trouble. All generations from the beginning of history have treated posterity badly, and I am not aware that we are treating it any better than our ancestors have treated us. At all events we are accumulating an amount of printed matter which I tremble to think of. With regard to the specific subjects we have before us, I think they well illustrate the

266 Institution and Custom Sectwti.

kind of work which can profitably be done by historical study on what may be called the borderland of jurisprudence and folk- lore.

I do not know that the Folk-lore Society has found its totem. It is rather difficult to find a new animal, but, by a coincidence which I cannot regard but as extremely fortunate, there has been discovered in the centre of the Australian continent a really new quadruped, a marsupial mole. I suggest, for reasons which I shall explain, that this animal, which is called the Southern Digger,^ should be adopted as totem of the Folk-lore Society. It is an animal digging and grubbing underground, which is the fate of all people who have to deal with obscure evidence in out-of- the-way places. If we have to get at the root of things, it is no use running aboveground in places that are built upon and culti- vated, and generally made unrecognisable ; we must get down into the old soil, and be content to grub in the dark. This mole is blind, signifying, in a spiritual application to the Society, that we must not be dazzled by preconceived theories. Likewise this mole, unlike the common mole, has a horny snout, signifying that he does not mind what he runs against. Likewise, unlike the European mole, his hair is all set one way, signifying that when once digging in a given direction he cannot turn back ; and I think it is stated — but this, as Mandeville would say, " I have not seen, therefore I avouch it not" — that, as he digs, he throws up a great quantity of earth and rubbish behind him. I think, for all these reasons, the marsupial mole of Central Australia is very fit to be the totem of a Society of this kind. There is only one thing about him which may be considered of evil omen, and that is that the young ones have never been found ; but let us hope that the future publications of the Folk-lore Society may suffice — if indeed the present ones do not already suffice — to remove any objection that may be made by anyone on that score.

1 This, I believe, is intended to be the meaning of Notorydes, which could only mean one who digs up (or perhaps breaks into the house of) the South Wind.



Only a very limited branch of the General Comparative Study of Customs is the object of the following paper.

Whenever we find one and the same custom amongst different peoples, there are three ways of explaining the coincidence. Firstly, it may be one of those customs which are found all over the world, and arise whenever the same conditions of life are given. These coincidences form the material for the anthro- pologist, from which he derives the laws of development of human institutions. Secondly, one people may have adopted the custom from the other. The historian has to deal with this kind of coincidences. Thirdly, the peoples amongst whom we find the same custom may be related to each other, and may have inherited the custom from their common ancestors. It is with this kind of coincidences that the comparative folk-lorist has to deal.

Now it has been proved that the so-called Indo-European languages all go back to one primitive Indo-European speech. But, unless we are content with treating language as a mere abstraction, we have to assume a people by whom that primitive Indo-European language was spoken ; and it is surely the most plausible hypothesis — though no more than an hypothesis — that the peoples who speak Indo-European languages are in some way connected with the people by whom that primitive language was spoken.

The principles of the Comparative Philology of the Indo- European languages may therefore, I believe, with advantage be applied to the comparative study of the customs of the Indo-

268 Institution and Custom Section.

European peoples. As the philologist tries to trace back the forms of any given Indo-European language to a primitive Indo-European speech, so we may, by a comparison of the customs of the Indo-European peoples, be able to trace back certain customs (or a series of customs) to the primitive Indo- European period. But, in order to do this, we must apply a method as stringent as that of the philologist. Before we ascribe a custom to the primitive Indo-European period, we have to prove its existence amongst a sufficient number of Indo-European peoples ; we have to make sure that the custom in question cannot have been borrowed by one people from the other ; and we have to show that it is not one of those customs which are found all over the world, and form the common property of mankind.

Wherever peoples have come into closer contact they have freely adopted customs from one another, and it is often impos- sible to decide where a certain custom arose and which way it travelled. The European peoples, more especially, have so frequently and for so long periods had intercourse with one another, that it is next to impossible to distinguish between customs that one people may have adopted from the other in historical times, and customs that may be traced back to a common origin in prehistoric times. Even when we find a custom amongst all the ^\'estern branches of the Indo-European group of peoples, we have no right to assert its primitive Indo- European origin. But if we find a custom among the European peasantry of our own day ,or among the old Greeks and Romans on the one hand and on the other in those precious records of ancient Hindoo custom, the Grikyasutras — the Folk-Lore Journals of ancient India — then we have a right to say that, as far as we know, this coincidence cannot be explained by historical contact, but must be referred to a common origin in the primitive Indo-European period. We may then lay it down as a principle admitting of no exception, that a custom must be proved to exist both in Asia and in Europe before it can be pronounced as primitive Indo-European.

Thus wc find a very common marriage custom — the barricading- or stopping of the bridal procession on its way to the new home (a survival of marriage by capture) — amongst the Teutonic,

WiNTERNITZ. — Indo-European Customs. 269

Slavonic, and Romance peoples of Europe. It is known in Italy by the name of fare U serragUo or fare la barricata , by the name of schutten or keeren in Holland ; it is also found in France, Germany, in Bohemia (both among Germans and Czechs) and in Lithuania.

This barricading sometimes consists in throwing logs, or even weapons, before the bridal waggon, but more frequently only a rope or a string of flowers is spread across the way, and the bridegroom has to pay a ransom, in order that the waggon may be allowed to pass.

I know only of one passage in a Grihyasilira that may pos- sibly refer to a similar custom. \\& read in the Apastatiil/lya Grihyasiltra (5, 23 seq}j : The bride having mounted the waggon in which she is taken to her new home, he should spread two cords across the wheel-tracks, a blue one across the right, a red one across the left track, saying a certain verse of the Rigveda ; with three other Rig-verses he should drive over these cords. I confess, however, that this seems to me not a sufficient proof of the existence of the barricading custom in ancient India, and I should not venture, for the present at least, to include this custom in the list of primitive Indo-European marriage customs.

Again, the custom of substituting an old woman for the bride, is certainly one of the most prevalent customs among Slavonic, Teutonic, and Romance peoples. Professor Weber^ has suggested that a certain passage in the Kausika-Sdtra may possibly refer to a similar custom in ancient India. But the interpretation of that passage is very doubtful, and it is at all events too rash an assertion to say, as Dr. Schroeder^ does, that this is "undoubtedly" a primitive Indo-European custom.

Of course, we have no right to claim a custom as primitive Indo-European, because it may be found in the Grihyasutras or in the Veda itself, if it cannot be proved to exist in Europe also. Thus, two of the most important marriage rites of the Hindoos, mentioned already in the Veda, as well as in all the Grihyasutras — the bride's treading upon a stone, and her stepping seven steps — cannot, for the present, be proved to be of Indo-European origin.

^ Indische Siitdien, v, 393.

- Hocf-z^iishrciuch^ (ter Esten, p. 72.

270 Institution and Custom Section.

Professor Weber^ has, indeed, compared the German Siebensprung, a wild wedding-dance, with the seven steps of the Hindoo bride ; and Dr. Schroeder^ has pointed out an Esthonian marriage cus- tom similar to the Hindoo bride's treading upon a stone.

The coincidence between the Esthonian and the ancient Indian custom is certainly most striking, but it is hardly safe to use the evidence of an Esthonian custom in order to prove the Indo- European origin of a Hindoo custom. Dr. Schroeder, in his valuable work on Esthonian marriage customs, has, I believe, suc- ceeded in showing that the marriage customs of the Esthonians and other Finnish tribes are closely related to, and probably barrowed from, Indo-European marriage customs. But having only an Esthonian and a Hindoo custom to compare, we want the missing link to connect the two, and as long as that is not found it would be illogical, on the evidence of the Hindoo custom, to pronounce the Finnish custom as Indo-European, and then to go and use the Finnish custom as evidence for the Indo-European origin of the Hindoo custom. For a man cannot stand on his own shoulders, as the Hindoos say.

The seven steps and the German Siebensprung., on the other hand, have nothing in common except the number seven. In ancient India, according to the Griliyasfitras, the bride was made to step forward in a north-eastern or northern direction seven steps, while certain Mantras (prayers) were spoken, like the following : " For food with one step, for vigour with two steps, for the pros- pering of wealth with three steps, for comfort with four steps, for cattle with five steps, for the seasons-' with six steps. Friend be thou with seven steps." It is probably this custom which gave rise to the proverbial saying that "friendship is effected by seven steps". Whatever the meaning of the custom may be, it should be remembered that the seven steps are not limited to the wedding ritual. It forms, for instance, also part of the ordeal by fire, which mainly consists in the supposed culprit making seven steps while carrying in his hands a piece of hot iron. When Buddha was born, we are told, he stepped seven steps in the northern direc- tion, while the great Brahma and other gods paid homage to him ; and at the seventh step he exclaimed, " I am the highest in this

' Indisc/ie Studicn, v, 321. " Z.c, p. 78.

•• There are six seasons, according to ancient Indian terminology',

WiNTERNlTZ. — Indo-European Customs. 271

world." All this seems rather to point to a peculiar Indian origin of the seven steps. It is curious that in the Punjab nowadays bride and bridegroom walk seven times round the fire ; this looks as if the two ancient rites of stepping seven steps and of walking three times round the fire had been combined in one ceremony. The so-called " Bhanwar" among certain tribes in Bengal, con- sisting in walking seven times round a bamboo post, may also be connected with the ancient seven steps. However that may be, the Hindoo bride's stepping seven steps always appears as an act of special solemnity. Now let us compare the German Sieben- sprimg. This is a dance which used to be performed at weddings in Westphalia and in other parts of Germany. All the dancers take part in it, and it consists in jumps performed with great rapidity, the dancer throwing himself first on his right, then on his left knee, again on his right and on his left elbow, then on his right hand and on his left hand, and at last touching the ground with his nose. Each time the number of the jump is given, and the following words are sung :

" Kennt ihr nicht die sieben Spriinge, Kennt ihr nicht die sieben? Seht ihr, wie ich tanzen kann, Ich tanze wie ein Edelmann 1 Hopp !"

How this strange performance could in any way be connected with the ancient Hindoo custom described above, I fail to see. I should, therefore, be inclined to see, both in the treading upon a stone, and in the stepping seven steps, peculiar Hindoo customs.

If, on the other hand, we find a custom in ancient India and again in Europe, though it be only in one of the European branches of the Indo-European group, then we can say at least that it is highly probable that the custom belongs to the primitive period. Thus we learn from the Grihyasittras that it was the custom in ancient India, on the bride's entering her new home, to place a little boy on her lap., as an omen of male progeny. Now exactly the same custom is found amongst many Slavonic peoples. The South Slavonians have a special term for this baby-boy, viz., nakoljence or nakonce, and the custom is practised in Croatia,

272 Institution and Custom Section.

Bosnia, Herzegovina, Servia, and Bulgaria.^ We find it also in parts of Galicia and Russia, and in Albania. In Corsica, also, the bride holds a child on her lap, and after the ceremony the guests pronounce the following blessing on the sposi :

" Dio vi dia buona fortuna, Tre di maschi e femmin' una."-

I am not aware of the existence of the custom amongst Teutonic peoples. In Scandinavia it is, indeed, considered a good omen for the bride to sleep with a baby-boy the night before the wed- ding. But here the idea only is the same, while the custom is quite a different one. Yet I believe it is a mere accident that only Hindoos and Slavs have retained the custom, and I should not exclude it from the primitive Indo-European marriage ritual.

The surest conclusions, however, are those which rest on suffi- cient evidence both from European folk-lore and from the folk-lore of ancient India, as handed down to us in the Grihyasdtras.

Here we may mention the well-known Roman custom accord- ing to which the bride was lifted over the threshold., which her feet must not touch. This was probably a means of avoiding the evil omen connected with the threshold, hardly— as some scholars thought — a survival of marriage by capture. That the threshold is haunted, is a very far-spread superstition. In Germany, the arnien Seelen are supposed to dwell under the threshold. In Franconia, on entering a new house one must not tread upon the threshold, for this hurts the souls. And both in Germany and in Slavonic countries the threshold is a favourite place for all sorts of witchcraft. No wonder, therefore, that in many parts of Germany the bridal pair, on entering their new home, have to step over an axe or a broom to avoid being bewitched. The English custom of leaping over a stone at the outside of the church-porch (the louping stone, or pelting stone)^ seems also to be connected with the same superstition. In Slavonia, the bride takes care on entering the church not to tread upon the threshold of the church- door, and we are told that she does so for the sake of easy labour in child-birth. In France and Switzerland, as well as in modern

F. S. Krauss, Sitte und Branch aer Sudslaven, pp. 386, 389, etc, Diiringsfeld, Hoclizeitsbuch, p. 257. Henderson, Nortlurn Counties, p. 38,

WiNTERNlTZ. — Indo-European Customs. 273

Greece, we still find the custom of lifting the bride over the thres- hold, as it was practised in ancient Rome. And as in ancient Rome the Pronuba v/arned the bride that her feet must not touch the threshold, so we read in one of the Grihyasutras : " Having reached the house, he (the bridegroom) should instruct her, saying : 'Place the right foot first, do not tread upon the threshold.'" Seeing, then, that the old Roman custom — as it is still practised in modern Greece, and among Teutonic, Slavonic, and Romance peoples — also existed in ancient India, it can fairly be claimed as Indo-European.

The second rule enjoined in the Grihyasutra, that the bride should enter her new home with the right foot first, is likewise to be found among other Indo-European peoples. In Albania, the bridal pair are careful to step over the thresholds of all the rooms with the right foot. In Bohemia, the bride enters the church with her right foot first. The South Slavonian bride steps with her right foot over the threshold of the new home. In the Upper Palatinate, the bride avoids setting out with her left foot during the whole wedding-day. Among the Parsees of Bombay, the bridegroom enters the house with his right foot first.

There is also another custom always mentioned in the Griliyasutras in connection with the entering of the new home, viz., the sitting on a red bull's hide. It is mentioned already in the Atharvaveda, and Professor AVeber has rightly compared with it the Roman custom of placing the bride on a sheep-skin {pellis lanatd). Dr. Schroeder has pointed out strikingly similar Esthonian and Russian customs. The ordinary custom in ancient Rome was to place the bride on a sheep-skin. At the marriage of priests, however, the custom was to cover two chairs with the skin of the sacrificial sheep, and to make the bridal pair sit down on this skin. If Rossbach is right in assuming that the Confarreatio has preserved more ancient marriage rites, then the latter custom would have to be taken as the original one. It is curious, however, that in India also, it is generally the bride who is made to sit down on the bull's hide. Only in two Grihyasiitras {Apastamba, Hiranyakesin) the rule is given that both bride and groom should sit down on the bull's hide ; but nothing is said in the GrihyasHtras that would justify us in


274 Institution and Custom Section.

assuming that the hide was that of the sacrificial animal. All we can say, therefore, is that there was an Indo-European marriage-custom, according to which the bridal pair — or the bride alone — were seated on the skin of an animal, perhaps of the sacrificial animal. But the custom itself is not quite clear.

But here we have to mention the fact that the custom of lifting the bride over the threshold is not limited to Indo- European peoples. In China the bride is carried into the house by a matron, and lifted over a pan of charcoal at the door. And again, among the Jews in the Caucasus mountains, one of the bride's relations carries her in his arms into the synagogue. This brings us face to face with one of the most important questions the comparative folk-lorist has to deal with. Are we to say, because we find the same custom among non-Indo- European peoples, it must be excluded from the list of Indo- European customs ? I believe not necessarily.

The comparison of non-Indo-European customs is certainly of the greatest importance, and, in fact, indispensable for the comparative study of Indo-European customs. And, if Ave find a custom among Indo-European peoples and among savages and other non-Indo-European races, we shall have to take into consideration, first of all, the character of the custom, and then to balance the mass of evidence that can be adduced from Indo-European peoples on the one hand, and from non-Indo- European peoples on the other.

What I mean by the " character of a custom" is this : there are customs of such a general character that it is easy to conceive that they may have arisen among different peoples independently, and others which are of such a peculiar nature that it is very unlikely that they should, under ordinary circumstances, occur more than once. Let me give you one or two examples.

One of the most prevalent customs among Indo-European peoples is a solemn bath of the bride, frequently also of the bridegroom. And in connection with the bath, the dressing and adorning of the bride, especially with garlands, is generally mentioned. In the Atliai-vaveda we find prayers referring to the bath of the bride. Priests are requested to fetch the water for the bath, that it may be auspicious for the welfare of the

WiNTERNITZ. — Indo-European Customs. 275

future husband. In ancient Greece also, the bride's bath (XovTpov vvfKpiicnv) forms part of the nuptials, and it is still so in modern Greece. The South Slavonian bride bathes in scented water, and, like the Hindoo bride, receives a shirt as a present from the bridegroom. Instead of the bath, we find the ceremony of " feet-washing" in ancient Rome, where the feet of the bridal pair were bathed in water, which had to be fetched by a boy or girl from a pure fountain {de puro fonte). In Scotland, as Mr. Gregor^ tells us, there was the " feet-washing" on the evening before the marriage. Among the old Prussians, the " feet- washing" of the bride was performed, and the water was after- wards sprinkled over the guests, the bridal bed, the cattle, and the whole house.

All this would seem to justify us in ascribing the ceremony of the bridal bath to the primitive Indo-European period. But may it not be objected that bathing, as well as dressing and adorning, especially on an occasion like marriage, is so obvious a custom that it is hardly surprising to find it among so many different peoples ? Of course, it is possible that the primitive Indo-European s had such a custom — to me it seems even highly probable — but how are we to prove that it was so, and that the respective customs did not arise among each individual people independently ?

Another custom which is found among all the Indo-European peoples, and yet, on account of its peculiar character, cannot be put down with certainty as belonging to the primitive Indo- European period, is the official cryino; of the bride ow her departure from home. In the Grihyasfitras, a certain prayer is enjoined or the bride's crying, which proves that this crying was an essential form at an ancient Hindoo marriage, as it still is in modern India. The Roman bride cried, and was unwilling to go In modern Greece, when the bridal procession starts for church, the bride bursts into tears, and refuses to follow, and on the bride's-man saying: "Leave her alone, as she weeps," she replies : " Take me away from here, but let me weep." In Germany, it is a very general belief that the bride's crying is auspicious, that, if she weeps during the marriage ceremony, she will be happy in her married life. So they say in the Upper

1 Folk-lore of Scotland, p. 89 seq,

T 2

276 Institution and Custom Section.

Palatinate, " She who cries not before, must cry afterwards", or "Laughing bride, weeping wife; weeping bride, happy wife". Among Slavonic peoples the crying of the bride is most essential. In Russia, especially, much importance is attached to the bride's having "a good cry", and the more she cries, the more she gains the admiration of her friends. Kulischer has tried to prove that the ofificial crying of the bride in modern Europe belongs to the survivals of marriage by capture. " The bride", he says, " be- wails her lost freedom ; she recoils at the subjection into which she must fall after her marriage. The man comes (they sing in Russia at the dishevelling of the bridal hair), he who will kill me, he comes who will dishevel my hair, he comes who will rob me of my beauty."' I am much inclined to adopt Kulischer's view; but I cannot conceal from myself the fact that crying, like bathing, dressing, etc., is a human weakness so easily to be accounted for, that it becomes extremely difficult to ascribe it to a certain period or a certain group of peoples.

In another sense, also, the character of a custom has to be considered in the comparative study of folk-lore. There are customs which, if they survive at all, are kept up in our villages much in the same way at the present day as they were practised in olden times. And there are other customs which, through the influence of civilisation, or of Christianity, would naturally undergo a change in time. This is the case, for instance, with all customs of sacrifice. When they survive, we can only expect them to survive in a very diluted form. Or, there can be no doubt that the Pitris of the ancient Hindoos, the spirits of the dead who were worshipped and received gifts of food and clothes, are precisely the same as the armen Seeteii, believed in by the German peasantry. Though the gifts offered to them by our peasants on All Souls' Day are supposed to ameliorate their lot in purgatory, yet we cannot doubt that the original meaning of these gifts was the same as among the ancient Hindoos, to propitiate the Manes and secure their help.

In this way we have to consider the character of a custom found both among Indo-European and non-Indo-European peoples before ascribing it to or excluding it from the primitive Indo-European period. But still more important is a statistical

1 Berliner Zeitschrift filr Ethnologic., x, 208,

WiNTERNlTZ. — Indo-European Customs. 2'j'j

account of the occurrence of the custom in question, a careful collection of all the facts to be found among the different peoples. We are sometimes inclined to say that a custom or a belief is "natural" — in fact, there is no word so much abused as the word "natural" — but, if we come to close statistics, we often find that it is limited to a certain area.

Now with regard to the custom of lifting the bride over the threshold, it will hardly be said that it is a custom of such a general character as bathing or crying. And we found it among nearly all the Indo-European branches in ancient as well as in modern times. The Chinese custom mentioned above, though strikingly similar to the Indo-European custom, cannot be said to be exactly the same thing. The custom of the Caucasian Jews, on the other hand, is no doubt identical with the Indo- European custom. But modern Jewish customs can hardly ever be quoted as Semitic. And especially the customs of the Jews in the Caucasus mountains, interesting as they are, show, to a great extent, an unmistakably Indo-European character, whether they be borrowed from a Teutonic or Slavonic source. ^Ve have, therefore, such an overwhelming evidence for the Indo-European origin of the custom in question, that we are justified in ascribing it to the primitive Indo-European period.

But in most of the other cases where a custom occurs both among Indo-European and non-Indo-European peoples, it is exceedingly difficult to decide whether it belongs to the primi- tive Indo-European period or not. Let us examine some of these customs.

There is an ancient marriage custom which is still kept up both in town and village all over Europe, of throwing some kind of cereals, or fruit, on the bride. I say, on the bride, because this seems to have been the original custom. But, as we now find it, there are many variations of the custom. Sometimes the bride only, sometimes the bride and bridegroom separately, sometimes the bridal pair together, sometimes, even, the whole wedding company, are showered with some kind of grain or fruit, or even with coins. It is evidently considered one of the most auspicious ceremonies, and therefore not restricted to one occasion only. We find it performed at the betrothal, before and after, and even during the nuptial ceremony, but most frequently on the

278 institution and Custom Section.

way to, and at the arrival in, the new home. It is convenien to have a name for this far-spread custom, and I think we cannot do better than adopt the Greek name of Katachysniata. In ancient Greece, when the bride arrived at her husband's house, she was showered with figs, nuts, and other things of that kind. This was called Ka-rayyafhaia. The custom is still kept up in modern Greece. In ancient Rome, the bridegroom threw nuts amongst the crowd of boys. But the original custom probably was, as Mannhardt suggests, that the nuts were thrown by the bridegroom over the bride, and then only gathered up by the boys. In Romance countries at the present day, the Katachys- niata sometimes consist in scattering grain over the couple, but more frequently in throwing confects. You all know the English custom of throwing rice. In the north of England and in Scotland, the throwing of short -bread over the bride's head is the general custom. But in Rosehearty, in Aberdeenshire, an un- doubtedly older custom has been preserved, of throwing barley over the bridal pair as they come to the fasting-place. In olden times in England, also, when the bride came from church, wheat was thrown on her head.^ This is important, as Mannhardt, in his beautiful essay, " Kind und Korn," has tried to prove that the Katachysniata originally consisted in throwing some kind of grain, and that nuts and other kinds of fruit have, at a later period, been substituted for grain.- In Bohemia and Silesia they throw, during the wedding-feast, peas or grains of peeled barley on the couple, and as many grains as are afterwards found lying on the bride's dress, so many children, it is believed, she will have. The original meaning of the custom could not come out more clearly than in this belief In Slavonic countries, the old custom is retained much in its original form. Thus in Russia, the bride kneels down on a carpet to receive the blessing of her parents ; the mother, on the occasion, scatters grains of hops over the bride's shoulders. In South Slavonic countries, grains of wheat or millet are thrown from all the windows over the bride, while she proceeds through the village.

In India, we can trace the Katachysniata from the Grihyastitras

' Henderson, p. 36; Gregor, p. 92 seijq., 99; Folk-Lore /ournal, i, p. 119 seq. \ Brand-Hazlitt, Pop. Antiquities, ii, 58.

- Mannhardt, Mytliologische For>chuiii_en ]3. 365.

WiNTERNlTZ. — Indo-European Customs. 279

through the classical Sanskrit literature down to the present day. The poet Kahdasa, in the Raghuvam'sa (vii, 25), describes how Prince Aja and his bride, sitting on a golden chair, were strewn with wet grains of barley, first by young Brahmans, then by the King and all the relations, and lastly by noble women.

At the present day, we find Katachysmata all over India. In Bihar, " when the bridegroom arrives at the door of the bride's house, the women of her family receive him, and scatter over him uncooked rice, the dung of a heifer, balls of cooked ricei and other articles."^ At a Parsee wedding, " the couple are required to throw over each other some rice that is ready in their hands, and whoever is sharp to do the feat first, is the winner of the day. Round goes clapping of hands among women in the house, and men out of it. After the more clever of the couple is thus ascertained, they are placed side by side ; two priests stand before them with a witness on each side, holding brass plates full of rice. The two priests then recite the marriage blessing in Zend and Sanskrit, throwing at every sentence some rice on the heads of the couple."-

Thus we can trace this custom, which may be called a sym- bolical expression of the blessing, " Be fruitful, and multiply", amongst all the branches of the Indo-European group of peoples. And we find it in almost every period of the history of Indo- European peoples as far as our records go.

It is true we find the same custom among the Jews at a very early period, and among Jews of all countries, and it is also known in China and Tibet. Whether the Jewish custom is so old that it cannot have been borrowed from Indo-European peoples, I must leave Semitic scholars to decide. As to the Chinese and Tibetan custom, it is at least possible that it found its way there, through Buddhistic influence, from India. A Buddhistic tale in the Tibetan Collection Dsanghin? contains an allusion to a custom of throwing peas at weddings. In days of yore, in ages long gone by, the Buddha Pursha had come into the world to take care of its welfare. At that time the son of a Brahman took a wife. Now, the story says, it is the custom among laymen,

1 Grierson, Bihar Peasajit Life, § 1316.

" D. Naoroji, Manners and Customs of the Par s'es, p. 12.

^ Translated into German by I. J. Schmidt, 1843, p. 376.

28o Institution and Custom Section.

on taking a wife, to go and scatter a handful of peas. Accord- ingly, the youth took a handful of peas, and set out to scatter them. On his way he met the Tathagatha, and so pleased was he at the sight of him that he took the peas and scattered them over the Tathagatha's head. Four peas fell into Buddha's alms- bowl, and one pea stuck to the crown of his head. In conse- quence of this meritorious action, the youth became King Tshiwotshei in another birth. As a reward for the four peas that had fallen into the alms-bowl, he became ruler of the four parts of the world, and for the one pea stuck to the crown of Buddha's head, he enjoyed happiness in the two kingdoms of the gods.

It may be, that both story and custom have travelled together from India to Tibet and China; but, be that as it may, the evidence for the occurrence of the Katachysmata among Indo-European peoples is so overwhelming, that the casual occurrence of the same custom among non-Indo-European peoples should not prevent us from ascribing it to the primitive Indo-European period. '

A custom, on the other hand, which is equally prevalent among Indo-European and non-Indo-European peoples, is the marriage custom of eating or drinking together, as a symbol of close union. In ancient India, the newly-married couple had to offer a burnt oblation of a pancake or a mess of boiled rice, in the wedding-night, and together they partook of that dish, and of some liquid food besides. Among the Parsees, after the nuptial ceremony, bride and bridgroom are made to partake of a sweet, semi-liquid dish. In ancient Greece, the bridal pair partook together of a sesamum-cake. The sacrificial cake (Jibuin farreum), from which the patrician marriage in ancient Rome has received its name of confarreatio, was offered as a burnt oblation, and it is possible, though not proved by direct evidence, that, just as in India, the bridal pair partook of it. At the present day, the custom of eating together after the nuptial ceremony is very prevalent in Romance countries, e.g., in Sardinia and in some parts of France, where the young couple partake of a cup of soup. In Teutonic and Slavonic countries we find only a few traces of the custom of eating together, while the custom of drinking together out of one cup is very far-spread.

WiNTERNITZ. — Indo-European Customs. 281

Like many other marriage customs, it is practised both at the betrothal and at the nuptial ceremony. Thus in Germany, from the fourteenth century onwards, we find the bridal cup drunk on both occasions. In Russia, at the betrothal, the bride takes a tray with two glasses of vodka round, and when all the relatives have been served, " the young people help themselves, and, having signed a cross over their eyes, strike their glasses together, the bridegroom trying to lift his glass highest, so as to pour some of its contents into the bride's glass." And again at the nuptial ceremony, "a small sort of silver ladle, called the Common Cup, with a very short handle, is brought on the salver by the Reader. It contains wine mingled with water, and the priest, having blessed it, holds it to the lips of the pair, who sip it alternately each three times.^

Now we find similar customs all over the world. Eating together is the chief marriage custom in the Malay Archipelago ; it exists in Brazil ; among the Navajos in North America ; among the old Mexicans. ^Ve find the custom of drinking together in Japan ; it is an essential part of the marriage cere- monial with certain aborigines in Bengal, and it forms part of the nuptial ceremony among the Jews of all countries.

It is, of course, possible that the primitive Indo-Europeans shared the custom in common with other peoples. But it is also possible that these customs — for it is not a uniform custom — originated among different branches of the Indo-Europeans inde- pendently. It would be different if we found exactly the same kind of dish — say, the wedding-cake — used among all the different Indo-European peoples, or if the ceremony had its fixed place in the marriage ritual, like the joining of hands, and some other customs we shall have to mention. Then we should be able to ascribe it to the primitive Indo-Europeans, in spite of its occurrence among so many non-Indo-European peoples. As it is we must be content to say that it is one of those general customs which spring from common human ideas.

There are, as I just said, some customs which, though occurring among non-Indo-European peoples, can yet be claimed as Indo- European, because, among the- Indo-European peoples, they occupy a certain definite place in the nuptial rite. Such customs

1 Romanoff, Rites of hfe Greek Church, p. ^ 1 1.

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are : the joining of hands, the circnmambulation of the fire, and the sacrifice.

T]\<i Joining of hands, or, the bridegroom's taking the bride by the hand, is one of the most important marriage ceremonies among all Indo-European i)eoples. In the Veda the husband is called hastagrabha, "hand-taker; and panigrahana or hastagrahana, " hand-taking", is a common name for " Avedding in San- skrit. According to the Grihyasiltras, the bridegroom, with his right hand, takes the right hand of the bride, reciting the verse from the Rigveda : " I take thy hand for the sake of happiness, that thou mayst live to old age with me, thy husband ; the gods Bhaga, Aryaman, Savitri, and Purandhi have given thee to me for householdership (or, for the sake of keeping the domestic fire)" : and the bridegroom should seize the hand of the bride so as to hold her hand in his own.

In many parts of Germany, when the priest joins the hands of the couple, the bride tries — in a literal sense — to get the upper hand, the bridegroom trying to do the same, and often a struggle of hands ensues, which is sometimes settled by the priest placing the man's hand uppermost. So even here the bride comes under the " hand" of the husband, just as in ancient Rome the bride, by the dextrarum junctio, came under the manus of the husband, was " handed over" to him. _ But the joining of hands is also from very early times the outward sign of a troth that two persons give to each other. " Handschlag", " Hand in Hand geloben", " Handgehibde", " Manu firmare", are familiar legal phrases in Germany.

Among the ancient Danes there was a kind of marriage con- tract called Haiidfcsting. And in The Christen State of Matri- mony we read of Handefasting in the sense of betrothal.'-

According to Norse laws, it was essential for the legal force of the stipulations made at the betrothal, that the bridegroom should take the bride's hand, and thus affirm the contract. ^Vith the old Iranians also, as we know from the Avesta, the betrothal was concluded by joining of hands. \\'hether the betrothal itself can be ascribed to the primitive period, is doubtful. If not, it is easy to conceive that some of the marriage customs were included, at some period or other, in the betrothal rites.

1 Brand-Hazlitt, ii, p. 46.

WiNTERNlTZ. — Indo-European Cusioiils. 283

While these two ideas — the handing over of the bride into the bridegroom's hand, and the clasping of hands as the sanction of the marriage-contract — seem to run parallel, there are some customs in which the joining of hands appears to be a symbol of union, and which seem to be due to a later development of the original custom.

In many parts of India, namely, and also in some European countries, the hands of the bridal pair are not only joined, but tied together with a cloth or a string of flowers. Among several castes in Southern India, the bridegroom takes the bride by the hand, whereupon the hands are bound together with a handker- chief. In Bengal, and in Lahore, the hands of the young couple are tied together with a string of flowers ; among the Parsees of Bombay wich a delicate twine. In Portugal, again, the priest ties the hands of the bridal pair with the end of his stole, and a similar custom is found among the Saxonians in Transylvania.

There are just a few instances of the joining of hands as a marriage custom among savages, e.g., among the Orang-Bandwa of Malacca, and the Orang-Sakai. But among the Indo-European peoples the joining of hands has its fixed place in the wedding ritual, it being generally followed by some religious rites. In ancient Rome, the joining of hands was followed by the sacrifice and the circumambulation of the sacrificial altar. In Russia, the priest joins the hands of the couple beneath his stole, " and followed by them, still hand in hand, walks slowly round the naloy three times, while the choir sings" — just as in an- cient India the joining of hands was followed by the ceremony of leading the bride round the fire. This custom is mentioned both in the Rig- and Atharva-veda, and it is practised all over India to the present day. In the Grih- yasutras, we read that the bridegroom should lead the bride round the fire, so that their right sides are turned to it, i.e., from left to right. The ceremony is to be repeated three times. It is probably on account of this custom that the bridegroom is said in the Rigveda to receive his bride from Agni, the god of fire. Agni is also called the husband of maidens, an idea which explains to us the Scotch saying, "Fire bodes marriage," and the superstition that a live coal tumbling from the fire of the

284 Institution and Custom Section.

hearth towards one who is unmarried, is regarded as a token of marriage being at hand.

According to the Roman custom, also, bride and bridegroom walk round the sacrificial altar from left to right. And it is most interesting to learn from the Grihyasutras that while the proces- sion round the wedding-fire is performed from left to right, that round the funeral-pile at a cremation is made in the opposite direction, and that in Rome also the pile on which the dead body was cremated was circumambulated from right to left.

In many parts of Germany, even in modern times, the custom is observed of leading the bride three times round the fire of the hearth ; and where the custom of walking round the fire is no longer practised, as in some parts of Westphalia, the bride is still led to the hearth, and the tongs are put into her hands to make up the fire. Exactly the same custom still exists in Scotland.-' In Croatia and Servia the bride's-man {djever) leads the bride three times round the hearth, on which a fire is burning, and each time the bride bows before it- Among the Ossetes also, the same custom has been observed by Haxthausen and others. In modern Greece the bridal pair is led three times round the altar. In Scotland it was formerly the custom for the whole wedding company to walk round the church, so as to keep it to their right ; and in the Isle of Man, according to Waldron, who wrote in 1726, "when they arrive at the churchyard, they walk three times round the church before they enter it."^ I have no doubt that the circumambulation of the church is only a survival of an older custom of leading the bride round the sacrificial fire.

There are several other marriage customs connected with the fire, such as carrying the fire to the new home. These customs, however, are found equally among Indo-European and non-Indo- European peoples. Thus, among the Australian Narrinyeri, "the woman is supposed to signify her consent to the marriage by carrying fire to her husband's hut, and making his fire for him."* But the peculiar custom of walking three times round the fire from left to right is undoubtedly of Indo-European origin.

1 Gregor, pp. 93, 99. J Krauts, pp. 386. 436,

■* Moore, Manx Fol/i-lore, p. 158. * Westcrmarck, p. 410.

WiNTERNITZ. — Indo-European Customs. 285

The circumambulation of the fire is closely connected with the sacrifice, or the offering of burnt oblations, which must have formed part of the primitive Indo-European marriage ritual, though, for reasons stated above, we can only expect to find very vague survivals of the sacrifice in modern customs.

In ancient India, where real sacrifices formed an important factor in the religious life of the people, we naturally find that a solemn sacrifice forms an essential part of the nuptials. The Grihyasutras give detailed rules about offerings of burnt oblations to the gods, especially the god of fire, at the wedding ceremony. There is the lajahoma, or the burnt oblation of parched grain, to be offered by the bride, at the beginning of the ceremony ; and there is the great Homa, consisting of a number of burnt oblations, offered by the bridegroom, with prayers to Agni and other gods — ceremonies which are as essential for an ancient Hindu wedding as the religious ceremony is for the Christian marriage. In ancient Rome, also, a solemn sacrifice formed part of the nuptials. " Apud veteres neque uxor duci neque ager arari sine sacrificiis peractis poterat" (Serv., Ad Aen., 3, 136). How- ever quietly a marriage was solemnised — as, for instance, at the marriage of widows, where all other ceremonies were left out — the sacrifice was never omitted. And for the Confarreatio, the sacrifice was indispensable, even at a later period.-' In Rome, as well as in ancient India, bride and bridegroom offered the sacrifice themselves, the assistance of priests belonging to a later period. Of. the old Greeks, we only know that a kind of preparatory sacrifice (ir/iorya^ia, wpoTeKdia) was required at the beginning of the nuptial ceremony. In many parts of Germany, in Italy, and again in South Slavonic countries, we often meet with the custom of carrying a living hen or cock in front of the bridal procession. All sorts of cruel sport are practised on this poor animal, and it is quite possible (though popular belief has often connected it with obscene ideas) that this fowl was originally a sacrificial animal. This is the more probable, as killing of fowls for sacrificial pur- poses — especially at funerals — still occurs among the Southern Slavs." And evil spirits who cause matrimonial difficulties may be propitiated by a sacrifice of a hen on the part of the husband,

1 Rossbach Romische Ehe, p. 309 seqq.

- See Kiauss, Volksglavbe der HiUlslavdi, P- 154 segq.

2R6 Institution and Custom Section.

or of a cock on the part of the wife. A clearer survival of an older sacrifice is found in Slavonia, where the bride, when stirring the fire, throws a copper coin into the flame. In Bohemia, the bride throws three of her hairs into the fire.

As Dr. Westermarck has shown, ^ religious ceremonies, including prayers and sacrifices to gods and demons, are also performed at the nuptials of many non-Indo-European peoples. But the peculiar position occupied by the sacrifice in the wedding ritual of the Indo-Europeans, especially its connection with the cir- cumambulation of the fire, allows us to ascribe sacrificial cere- monies to the primitive Indo-European marriage ritual. Professor Leist," who has tried to prove that in the marriage customs of the Indo-European peoples three stages can always be discerned — • viz. : Betrothal {Ehegriindung) ; institution of the Marriage Contract {Eheeinseizun^ ; and Consummation {Ehevollziehung) — even assumes that each of these stages was accompanied by a sacrificial act. The evidence, however, which he adduces is extremely vague and meagre, and I do not believe that there is sufficient evidence to prove more than one sacrifice for the marriage ritual of the primitive Indo-Europeans.

Professor Leist has, moreover, drawn important conclusions from the Indo-European customs connected with the fire. He asserts that the whole institution of Indo-European marriage rests, not on the man's right of property over the woman — acquired by capture or purchase — but on the ideal conception of Marriage as the foundation of a hearth, i.e., a home. I am afraid this is too ideal a conception for our Indo-European ancestors, and as fanciful and unwarrantable as Dr. I^eist's whole theory about what he calls "Dharma-Themis-fas-Recht".

It is true the primitive Indo-European community had arrived at a stage where inarriage by capttire was only surviving in a number of customs as sham-capture. The very fact of the existence of marriage customs must exclude the idea of marriage by actual rape. And when we find actual wife-capture in historical and even in quite recent times, among certain Indo-European tribes, we shall have to assume a retrograde development, probably under the influence of non-Indo-European peoples.

^ History of Hitman Marriage, p. 42 1 seq. 2 Allarisches Jus Gentium, p. 134 seijq.

WiNTERNlTZ. — Indo-European Customs. 2?<'j

On the other hand, the survivals of marriage by capture are so numerous among all the Indo-European peoples, that, however far back, it must at some period or other have been an actual form of marriage with the prehistoric Indo-Europeans. But already, before the separation of peoples took place, wife purchase was the basis of Indo-European marriage. " This fact", says Schrader,^ " appears clearly and plainly enough amongst most Indo-European peoples, and, amongst some, continued in its effects up to the threshold of the present. I should go further, and say, marriage by purchase continues in its effects up to this very day. It continues in its effects in the brutality of the parent who " disposes" of a daughter as of merchandise, and of the " wife-beater" who claims the right of the owner over his chattel, as well as in the brutality of the refined scholar who tries to prop up rotten prejudices by sham scientific methods, and of the law- giver who obstinately refuses to grant to woman the rights of man.

As the primitive Indo-European marriage was based on wife purchase, the joining of hands was naturally considered the most important civil act, signifying the man's entering on his rights over the woman. But we have also seen that some religious cere- monies existed already in the primitive period. The leading round the fire was probably the most important of these rites. This may be simply a kind of homage paid to the fire; the gods, more especially the god of fire, being invoked as witnesses of the ceremony. In classical Sanskrit literature, Agni (the fire), is often called the witness of marriages, and a marriage, witnessed by the fire, according to Hindoo ideas, cannot be annulled. But it is also possible that the original meaninsr of the ceremony was to introduce the bride to the gods of the new home. At all events, there can be no doubt that the bride was taken from her father's house to the home of her netv husband. In the famous hymn of the Rigveda, where the nuptials of Surya (a solar god- dess) are described, we read : " I unfasten her from here (viz., her father's house), not from there (her new husband's house) ; there (to the new home) I make her well fastened, in order that she may be, O bounteous Indra, blessed with sons and happy." Among all the Indo-Europeans we find the ceremony of con- 1 Schrader-Jevons, Prehistoric Antiquities, p. 381,

288 Institution and Custom. Section.

ducting the bride to the home of the husband, what was known to the Romans as the domum deductio, while the common Sanskrit word for marriage, vivaha, corresponds to the German " Heim- fiihrung". But this does not touch the question whether the new home to which the woman was conducted was the man's own home, founded by himself to set up a new family, or a "joint family", of which the bridegroom was only a member.

This picture of primitive Indo-European marriage customs agrees perfectly well with the conclusions at which philologists have arrived by sifting the Indo-European names of relationship, especially with the recent researches of Professor Delbriick and Dr. Schrader, "that only the connection of the daughter-in-law with the husband's relatives, and not the connection of the son- in-law with the relatives of the wife, can be established by Indo- European equations."!

It is not, however, my purpose to lay before you anything like sure results with regard to primitive Indo-European marriage. All I wished to do is to point out the necessity of applying a strict scientific method to the comparative study of Indo-Euro- pean customs. And I hope I have shown at least this much, that a comparative study of Indo-European folk-lore has a right to be established by the side of the Comparative Philology of the Indo-European languages. This comparative study of Indo-Euro- pean folk-lore will, I believe, lead to a more solid and thorough knowledge of primitive Indo-European civilisation. And the more intimate our acquaintance with primitive Indo-European life becomes, the better we shall be able to understand the historical origin and growth of modern customs and institutions. Far from being mere objects of curiosity, these singular customs of marriage, we were speaking of, have a bearing on the most burning questions of the day. I venture to say that no one can have a perfect understanding of the social position of woman in the present day who is unacquainted with the customs, institutions, and ideas of our primitive ancestors.

^ Schrader-Jevons, p. 375.

WiNTERNlTZ. — Indo-European Customs. 289


iMr. W. G. Black explained that in Scotland " handfasting" was still in use to the present day.

Professor Rhys said he was not quite sure whether he was to understand Dr. Winternitz to suppose that the marriage-custom of bride and bridegroom eating together was Aryan. He was rather inclined to regard it as Aryan, and belonging to other races as well. W^ith regard to marriage by capture, he had himself been present at one in Wales when a boy. They had been at the house in good time; presently the door was barred and a party approached the door, knocking at it. They were not allowed to come in ; they made the demand for the bride in verse, and they were answered in verse, and that went on for some time. In the meantime the bride had disguised herself, and the verses having become exhausted, the party were allowed to enter. They had to try to find the bride, but in this instance they failed to find her, she being disguised and having a baby on her lap. He did not know whether it was a boy or girl, which he regretted, there being a significance in this. But the custom had now gone out of use. They had now to wait for the bride to dress for the church. On the march to church, three miles off, at a branching of the road, the bride's father suddenly turned off with the bride. The bridegroom's men had of course to run after them, and, catching them, brought them back to the party.

Mr. TCHERAZ said that he had studied this custom round Mount Ararat. In Armenia there lived Armenians, Greeks, and Turks. The Armenians and Gieeks, belonging to the Aryan races, had the same custom for newly married people to dance round the fire; whilst the Turks, belonging to a non-Aryan race, although they had lived for centuries together, had not the same custom.

Mr. GOMME said that Dr. Winternitz's paper supplied a real want. 'He had also been particularly interested in hearing that in the lecturer's opinion the marriage-custom by the fire was Aryan, because he knew it had been stated that fire-customs were non- Aryan. He had never believed it himself, and was glad to see that Dr. Winternitz held the same opinion.

Mr. Sidney Hartland said he had been interested in hearing from Prof Rhys an account of a Welsh marriage, and especially that part which referred to the bride being disguised, this custom being also found among other portions of the Indo-European races, notably in the Balkan peninsula. With regard to the barring of the wedding


290 Institution and Custom Section.

procession, that had taken place at his own wedding in a country village in Wales. When they came out of the church they were con- fronted with a cord placed across the path, and which was only to be removed on scattering a certain quantity of small silver among the people. This had been kept up at small intervals until they had reached home.

Mr. Alfred Nutt could not help feeUng that considerable doubt and difficulties prevailed in all the questions relating to Indo-Euro- pean origins. Dr. Winternitz, who had evidently made a special study of this branch of Indo-European customs, might be able to satisfy them on the following points. Did he think that these marriage cus- toms had to a certain extent origmated with the Indo-European races, or did they show a sign of having been borrowed from other sources of civilisation ? Would he tell them whether, in a period which he presumed would be placed 2,500 years back, marriage by capture, if not Aryan, was only a survival as a sham ? Now they found that marriage by capture was known all over modern Europe ; had they to accept this survival in modern European folk-lore as a survival of sham survivals of 2,500 years ago, or were they to look upon the custom as borrowed from non-Aryan races who had kept them up until a late period ? Only one of the two hypotheses was possible, but that a custom which had been merely a symbolic survival 2,500 years ago should continue to live as such to the present day was open to grave doubt, and he would like to hear what Dr. Winternitz had to say on the subject. Then curious instances were mentioned by Dr. Winternitz of close contact between common Indo-European customs and specific Chinese customs, and he would like to ask whether the lecturer had studied at all the theory which made Chinese civilisation a derivative, or whether he thought there was any possibility of historically connecting common points of Indo-European customs with Chinese customs ?

Dr. Winternitz, in reply, said that he could offer no opinion as to the origin of Indo-European customs, .and he did not think that the custom of the present time allowed us to say anything definite about the former. Nor could he give any opinion on the question of marriage by capture, further than that the concealing of the bride as practised in connection with m.arriage by capture was certainly Indo-European. If the survival of marriage by capture existed in the primiti\-e period, they must assume that real capture did not. On the other hand, it was quite possible that in the primitive period there had been various branches of Indo-European people who had different customs. It was now generally adopted by philological students that the primitive

WiNTERNITZ. — Indo-European Customs. 291

Indo-European language was not one dialect, but was divided into various dialects, and thus there might have been part of the primitive Indo-European peoples who had marriage by capture only as a sur- vival, and others who had real capture. As to the opinion expressed by Mr. Rhys with reference to the custom of eating together, he believed it to be correct himself, but they could not prove it.

U 2



With the exception it may be of ghosts, no superstition is more widely known throughout England than Palmistry. A\'e all believe or disbelieve in it; and thousands even of the unbelievers yet submit their palms to the occultist Lady Clara Vere de Vere at a Belgrav- ian charity-bazaar ; or to Biddy Flanigan, the Irish tramp, who calls at back-doors with a basket of tapes ; or best of all, to some mother in Egypt — say, Perpi'nia Petul^ngro — 'tis a very good name for a palmist. For this most widespread of English superstitions is surely best practised by those who introduced it into England. The earliest certain mention of the presence of gypsies among us occurs in connection with palmistry. In his narrative of the death in 1 5 14 of Richard Hunne in the Lollards' Tower, Sir Thomas More tells how the king sent the lords to inquire into it. A man appeared who owned to having said that he knew one who could tell who killed Hunne. "Well," quoth the lords, "at the last, yet with much work, we come to somewhat. But whereby think you that he can tell ?" " Nay, forsooth, my lord," quoth he, " it is a woman. I would she were here with your lordships now." " ^\'ell," quoth my lord, "woman or man is all one, she shall be had wheresoever she be." "By my faith, my lord," quoth he, " an she were with you she could tell you wonders. I have wist her tell many marvellous things ere now." " \Vhy, quoth the lords, "what have you heard her tell?" "Forsooth, my lords," quoth he, " if a thing had been stolen, she would have told who had it ; and, therefore, I think she could as well tell who killed Hunne as who stole a horse." " Surely," said the lords, " so think we all, I trow. But how could she tell it — by the devil ?" " Nay, by my troth, I trow," quoth he, "for I could never see her use any worse way than looking into one's hand." Therewith the lords laughed and asked, " What is she?" " Forsooth, my lords,"

Groome. — Influence of the Gypsies. 293

quoth he, " an Egyptian. And she was lodged here at Lambeth, but she is gone over sea now. Howbeit, I trow, she is not in her own country yet. For they say it is a great way hence, and she went over Httle more than a month ago."

Nearly a century earlier, in 1427, a hundred penitents had come to Paris, who "said they were good Christians, and from Lower Egypt" ; and " notwithstanding their poverty, there were witches in their company who looked into people's hands and told what had happened to them, or would happen, and sowed discord in several marriages, for they said (to the husband), ' Your wife has played you false,' or to the wife, ' Your husband has played you false'."

I might multiply instances indefinitely to show that from the fifteenth century till now the gypsies have practised palmistry all over Europe, as to-day they practise it also in Asia, Africa, and both the Americas. But no one, I think, will challenge my first contention that, so far at least as concerns the art of palmistry, the gypsies have sensibly influenced English folk-lore, that art being probably a gypsy invention.

Secondly, I submit that gypsies may sometimes disseminate beliefs and practices of Gentile (that is, of non-gypsy) origin. A striking instance of this came under my own observation. I was talking lately in Edinburgh with an English gypsy, from Norfolk. He was speaking of the Scotch. " \\'ery ignorant sort o' people these Scotch, Mr. Groome," he observed. " Why, I was stopping the other day near a bit of a place they call Abingdon ; and the farmer there he had just lost his missus. And he'd a lot o' bee- skeps, but, if you'll believe me, he never put a mite o' crape on 'em, never so much as went and told the bees. I said he'd lose 'em if he didn't mind hisself ; and he was wonnerful obliged to me, and went and did all what I bod him. But that shows as the Scotch are wery uncultivated." Here we have an East-Anglian gypsy intro- ducing into Scotland an East-Anglian practice. But as you, of course, know well, that practice is not peculiarly East Anglian, or even English. It is current also on the Continent, from Russia to Brittany, ^\'ere, then, the primeval Aryans bee-keepers, and did they tell their bees when a death occurred in the family ? It may be so, but it is also possible that, as in the nineteenth century a gypsy has carried the practice from Norfolk to Lanarkshire, so his

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forefathers in the fifteenth century may have carried it to England from the Continent. Similarly, when we learn that Transylvanian gypsies find the corpse of a drowned person by casting bread on the water, we are tempted to think that the like practice in Eng- land — well known to our English gypsies — may have been brought hither by gypsies four centuries ago.

I say " four centuries" ; but remember it is by no means certain that the gypsies first set foot in England only four centuries ago. True, 141 7 is the year when, according to many contemporary chronicles, they first made their appearance in Western Europe. Still, there are hints of their presence long before that date ; and in Austria we find them roaming the countryside as early as 11 22 — in Austria, where yet in 1416 we likewise read of a "first appearance". No ! first appearances may be hardly more positive than last ones ; and the question. Did the gypsies enter Europe before or after the Christian era? is at present quite undetermined.

They have always been great travellers, by choice, but also (sometimes) by compulsion. As in the fifteenth century we find them migrating from the Balkan peninsula to the shores of the Baltic, to Rome, and the British Isles, so in the sixteenth centurj' we find them migrating from England to Norway ; in the seven- teenth from Scotland to the ^^'est Indies ; in the eighteenth from Poland to China, and from Portugal to Brazil ; in the nineteenth from the Basque country to Africa, from Hungary to Algeria, from Turkey to Scandinavia, England, and America ; and from England to the United States, New Zealand, and .\ustralia. They stop as a rule but a few days in one spot — during a journey it may be from London to Inverness ; and wherever they stop they are brought into close social intercourse with all sorts and conditions of men. For the gypsies of olden times were welcomed by Kaiser and Pope, by kings, and princes, and nobles. Here in Great Britain, in the sixteenth century, James IV furnished one of their " Counts" with a letter of commendation to the King of Denmark ; the Earl of Surrey entertained gypsies at his Suffolk seat, Tendring Hall ; gypsies danced before James V at Holyrood ; and a great company of them found every year free quarters at the Sinclairs' castle of Roslin, "where they acted several plays, during the months of May and June". Even in 1750, the Prince and Princess of Wales paid a visit to Bridget, the " queen" of the Norwood gypsies ; and at the

GROO^rE. — Tnflucuce of tlic Gypsies. 295

Liverpool Exhibition of 1886 Prince Victor of Hohenlohe was to be seen in the gypsy tent of Lazarus Petulengro, who himself, I may add, was closeted only last June with twelve members of Parliament at Westminster. So much for the upper ten ; and as to the masses, why, the gypsy camp is ever the favourite nightly rendezvous of the lads and maidens from the village. All the amusement they can give their guests the gypsies give gladly ; and stories and songs and folk-lore are among their best stock-in-trade.

^Vhat, then, is their folk-lore? What, then, are their supersti- tions ? \\'ell, they believe that one should not look at night in a looking-glass ; that one should never point at the stars ; that twelve " priestes", by praying, can bottle a ghost, and lay it in the "Red Seas; that such and such a pool is tenanted by a mer- maid; that you may pick up fallen stars, very cold, like jelly, and the size of saucers ; that, to keep off the cramp in the night, one should set one's boots crosswise ; that it will be rough weather on the morning of an execution ; that " every stitch taken on Sunday is a prick to the Saviour's heart" ; that a dead tree is " the birds' marrying-tree", where they couple on Valentine's Day ; and so on, and so on, and so on.

I could cite you dozens of such superstitions, but that would be bringing coals to Newcastle ; for those that I have cited are almost all also common to Gentiles — that is, non-gypsies. I have this only to remark about them, that, wherever the gypsies first got them from, they readily communicate their knowledge. I remember a gypsy girl, Reper6nia Lee, telling me of a spell she had learnt from a "wise man" at Aldershot, a simple form of a very old recipe : " To bewitch your enemy, stick pins in a piece of red cloth, and then burn it." That spell she found a most marketable commodity ; from first to last it had brought her in a good penny, much more than it cost her. I told it afterwards to one of the Bucklands, thinking it might be already familiar to him. But, no. He heard me with interest, pondered awhile, and then said : " I'll try that, I will ; s'help my goodness, I'll try that — on my brother, I will." Not, I think, that he bore his brother any special ill-will ; but he wanted to test the experiment, and a corpus was necessary.

This illustrates how readily gypsies will adopt superstitions from Gentiles, and especially Gentile "wise men" The question

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of our nineteenth-century " wise men has never been properly investigated, though Dr. Jessop touches on it in his Arcady, and Mr. Besant has drawn a good type of the class in That Son oj Vulcan. There must be scores of such knaves scattered up and down the kingdom ; and they have no more credulous dupes than the gypsies, whom I have known to make journeys of a hundred miles to consult them, and pay them large fees for their counsel. The practices and beliefs derived from them by the gypsies will have passed into gypsy folk-lore, and by the gypsies again been retailed to non-gypsy seekers after knowledge. So that I hold it next to impossible to fix upon such and such a superstition, and say, " This is of gypsy or of non-gypsy origin."

On the one hand, we know too little of gypsy superstitions out- side of England. Investigators, as a rule, have confined their attention to the gypsies' language, their history, and their manner of life. Their folk-lore has been almost totally disregarded by all but two — Mr. Leland (" Hans Breitmann"), the president of the Gypsy-lore Society, and Dr. Heinrich von ^\'lislocki — the latter, I fear, more erudite than trustworthy. A third should at least be mentioned — the Russian doctor, Michael Kounavine, who is said to have wandered for five-and-thirty years among the gypsies of Germany, Austria, Southern France, Italy, England, Spain, Turkey, Northern Africa, Asia Minor, Central Asia, Hindostan, and Russia, and meanwhile to have formed "vast collections" illustrating their religion, ritual, mythology, traditions, and what not else besides. Unluckily, those collections have disappeared since his death in 1881; and I myself own freely that, Betsy Prig-like, "I don't believe that there never was no sich a person" ; he seems to be just the creation of his literary executor. Anyhow, we cannot say of an Anglo-gypsy superstition, as we can of an Anglo-gypsy word : " It is probably native, not borrowed, for we find it current also with the gypsies of Egypt, Turkey, Norway, and Brazil."

On the other hand, it seems to me just as impossible to prove that the horse-shoe superstition — the belief in the virtue of cold iron generally — may not have been introduced by gypsies to our midst. It is said to be current in India (the gypsies' original habitat) ; it is current among the gypsies of south-eastern Europe; and it is also current among our English gypsies — Fetulengro, "the horse-shoe master", is familiar to every reader of George Borrow.

Groomk. — htfliicnce of the Gypsies. 297

Divination, again, by the cards, like card-playing itself, may have been brought to Europe by the gypsies, with any number of our minor superstitions. Some day the Folk-lore Society will give us an alphabetical table of those minor superstitions (Ladder, walking under a ; Salt-spilling ; etc.), with the earliest known date assign- able to each, whether occurring in Reginald Scot, in Sir Thomas Browne, in Aubrey, or anywhere else. Then it will be easier to determine whether this or that omen or charm is likelier to have been borrowed by us from the gypsies, or by the gypsies from us. ^Meanwhile, it is easy to show that our gypsies find ready accept- ance as a people possessed of a superior knowledge, as soothsayers and magicians. I remember in a country walk some years ago falling in with an old Suffolk labourer, who gave me a long account of a remarkable malady he had suffered from, which had baffled the doctors for miles around, but was cured almost in- stantaneously by the still more remarkable prescription of an old gypsy dame — I forget its exact ingredients, but " sherry wine" and herbs were among them. "But there," he said, "she could look right into my innards." And there was Will Ruffles, another Suffolk labourer, who used to work about my father's garden — a shrewd old fellow, and a bit of a " wise man" himself Having latterly come into a little pension, he once told my sister how, when he was a young man, a gypsy predicted that he would be better off at the end of his life than he was at the beginning. " And she spook truth," he added, " but how she knowed it I coon't saa." Nay, to cut short such instances. Lady Burton re- cently related how in girlhood she had her horoscope cast by a gypsy, and how it has all come true ; and a friend of my own, a very clever doctor, is firmly convinced of the truth of a gypsy girl's prophecy, still partly awaiting fulfilment.

As to the gypsies' fancied magical powers, why, the purse is the surest test of confidence, and hardly a year goes by but what we may read in the papers of " another case of credulity," of some farmer — the males here are oftenest the victims — a canny York- shireman maybe, who has been persuaded by a gypsy mother that she has the art of multiplying riches. And so he entrusts to her his hard-earned savings — twenty, fifty, or a hundred gold sovereigns — and she does them up neatly in a parcel, and buries t in his presence, muttering the while mystic R(5mani charms,

29S Institution and Custom Section.

such as ' D'mele se gauje te pdtsen te kerella kbva tovo." A\'hich, being interpreted, means that Gentiles are fools to suppose that this brings them wealth. Nor does it, indeed, for when the ap- pointed four weeks have gone by, and the farmer, as bidden, goes and digs up the buried parcel, expecting to find his treasure quadrupled (" For money, you know, my gentleman, breeds money"), lo ! his parcel is gone, and another one put in its place, and the gypsy sorceress is miles away, over the border. That old, old trick — the gypsy hokhann haro — was played again only last year (I met the sorceress myself in Glasgow), and, in spite of all School Boards, it will doubtless be played again and again in the twentieth century.

" A little bird told me" — the phrase is familiar enough, and yet it seems strange that, within the present age of steam and elec- tricity, a gypsy woman should have travelled East Anglia with a little bird that, like the popinjay of old ballads, told her secrets. Here is Dr. Jessopp's account of her, derived from Tinker Joe : — " Mrs. Smith, yes ! she 's buried in Troston churchyard, close by Ixworth — been a laying there close upon fifty year. She travelled Norfolk, she did, with a sparrer in a cage; and the sight o' money she got out o' folks long as the sparrer lived — lawk ! you wouldn't credit it — nor nobody else wouldn't. She were a wonder, she was. She was a woman as 'd never tell you nothing the fust time she come round. When folks went to her she'd go to that sparrer, and she'd say, ' Chippy, what do you know about it, eh ? ' and then she'd put her head under a sort of a great thing like a cart- cover, and she and Chippy would seem as if they was a talkin', and Chippy a tellin' of her things, and she'd come out as often as not, saying as Chippy he wasn't kindly, and wouldn't say nothing. And she'd go to the public-house, and it wasn't often as she didn't larn something to say there by the time she got back. There was a small shopkeeper at Hockley who'd been a buying a piece o' land with a bad title, and Mrs. Smith she'd somehow found it out, and one day soon arter he'd got the land she goes into the man's shop as cheerful as a grasshopper, and she says, ' If you please,' says she, ' I want a pen'orth o' sugar for my Chippy ; and the man was just a handing it to her when Chippy began to chirp won'erful loud, and Mrs. Smith she set him down on the counter, and looked all o' a heap — just as if she was mazed. ' What ! yeou

Groom K. — Influence of the Gypsies. 399

don't mean that, Chippy?' says she ; and the sparrer he began a rusthng and a chirpin' hke as if he wasn't right. And when she giv him a bit of sugar, he wouldn't have it if it was iwer so.

'"Well, then,' says Mrs. Smith at last, 'if he won't have it, he sha'n't ; but I reckon as Chippy du know what he's a talking about this time.' And then she began upon that poor man, and little by little she told him all about that bit o' land; and he was that terri- fied that he gave her five-and-twenty shillings not to let folks know what Chippy had tould her; and away she went wi' it. I reckon as that sparrer came to a bad end soon arter; and Mrs. Smith she never held up much when she hadn't her sparrer, though folks was won'erful afeared on her mostly."

There's a rare piece of savagery for you, as "unnatural" as any- thing in Zulu or South Sea folk-tales.

But the gypsies have long been credited with darker knowledge than that of prophecy, or love-charms, or the multiplication of money. They have been looked on as poisoners. In Scotland, in 1577, Katherine Lady Fowlis sent a servant to the Egyptians "to haif knowledge of thame how to poyson the young Laird of Fowlis and the young Lady Balnagoun"; and in the newspapers for February and March 1862 you may find a long account of a lady quite close to London who offered a gypsy fortune-teller ;£\ for a powder to poison her husband with. In connection with which case a doctor wrote to the Times, accusing the gypsies of the deadliest secrets of poisoning. That is rubbish; and so are the charges of kidnapping and cannibalism, which latter has yet its interest for folk-lorists. For cannibalism is the fifth of Mr. Lang's "savage ideas" in folk-tales — survivals even in classical antiquity from a far- away past of savagery. In classical antiquity ! ^\'hy, in the year of grace 1782, hardly a century since, forty-five Hungarian gypsies — men and women — were beheaded, broken on the wheel, quartered alive, or hanged for cannibalism. That the charge was at last proved a false one matters little: even in England, in 1859, it was entertained by the judge at the York Assizes. In the trial of a gypsy lad, Guilliers Heron, for robbery, "one of the prisoner's brothers said they were all at tea with the prisoner at five o'clock in their tent ; and when asked what they had to eat, he said they had a hurchin cooked. His Lordship (Mr. Justice Byles): 'What do you say you had — cooked urchin ?' Gypsy;

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'Yes, cooked hiti-chin. I'm very fond of cooked hurchin' (with a grin)." His lordship's mind, says the reporter, seemed to be filled with horrible misgivings, until it was explained to him that an hurchin is merely "a hedgehog"

But it is high time to pass from what people believe of the gypsies to what the gypsies themselves believe. Many, indeed most, of their superstitions are, as I have said already, identical with our own. But they are more than superstitions, pious memories, to them ; to them they are living realities. Outside of the gypsies I have only one friend who is a habitual ghost-seer; and he isn't exactly right; but ghosts seem to visit the gypsy camp quite en famille. Some of the Lovells, I remember, were stopping one midsummer close to a big cornfield, when in broad daylight "a black coach, drawn by four splendid black horses, drove right through the midst of the corn — you couldn't see a blade bend — and came close by the tents, as nigh as where you're sitting; and then vanished."

Another branch of the same family encamped once in a lane by the Black Mountains. "And about midnight my cousin Dosia" (I give the girl's words who told me it) " saw something get over the gate, like an old woman ; and it came and stood by her tent, looking down upon her as she was lying abed. And she stared at it for a long, long time, and at last she said, 'You wdfedi pi'iri grdsni (wretched old jade), what are you standing there for ? Go away.' There it stood, never took no notice, kept staring at Dosia all the blessed while. Long and by last it moved away towards her mother's tent; and they heard a sort of groaning noise, come with the wind, you know; and all at onest a tremenjous gale ot wind tore right upon the place. Ki6mi saw this old woman (as they thought she was) standing just at the front of their tent; and then she waked up old Gilderoy, told him look what that was. And at the same time they heard the ghost go away and say, 'I'll take the two, I'll take the two.' And that very instance old Gilde- roy and his son was dragged right out of the tent behind. They couldn't help themselves, they said; and the tent was blown clean up. And he said they couldn't stop theirselves; and my aunt got up to look, and found 'em lying breathless on the ground some way from the tents. And I suppose they packed up 'mediately soon as it come morning, and went off. They told some Gentile?

Groome. — Influence of the Gypsies. 301

about it. Gentiles said there had been a young gentleman killed there not long before. He was supposed to be very drunken, and the devil had fetched him from leading a prodigal life. So they never went back to that place, nor we never stopped there neither."

Fairies ? Why, )'es, I mind me how one day I angled in a brook, and a gypsy boy, Dimiti, sat on the bank above, and chattered how "onest in the Snaky Lane" he "lay awake. And when I'd be looking up in the trees, I could see little men and carriages sitting in the branches, as plain as could be. Beautifully dressed they were, bor, all in green clothes like, and some in white, and some in all sorts of colours. Oak trees is really the only trees I ever seen 'em on ; and they'd sway themselves up and down every time as the boughs would shake." And Lementina, Dimiti's grand- mother, heard fairy-music one night, when they were stopping by the Clee Hills in a bit of a wood, with a brook running down below. " Some very curious tunes it was, right atween the tents, just like a lot o' fiddles a long way off, but wonderful clear and sweetsome."

Nay, only last year, in the Edinburgh Electrical Exhibition, of all places in the world, there was a gypsy encampment, Lazzy Petulengro's ; and one of the boys (his mother thus tells the tale) " had risen up early, about four, on a July morning, when down by the fence he saw two dear little teeny people, about that high (two feet), and he ups and flings stones at 'em. But the night policeman came by, and saw him, checked him, and said, ' You mustn't fling stones at them. They're very well- known people hereabouts'. And they must ha' been fairies." Of that I am not certain, for this was within three miles of the Pict- or Pentlands, so what more likely than that they were Picts?

Fairies and ghosts lead naturally up to devils. I myself knew Emily Pinfold — she died but the other day at Norwich — who, according to the Lees, her enemies, had " sold her blood to the devil"; and I also knew the brother of a gypsy horse-dealer, who had done the same thing, and had in consequence become quite bald.

Riley Smith I never knew, but I have seen, at Battersea, the house he died in. This is his story. Riley was the unluckiest gypsy going. He never bought a horse for less or sold it for

302 Institution and Custom. Section.

more than its real value ; his purchases, indeed, were always falling lame, or drowning themselves, or doing something foolish. He never made a bet that he did not lose, and Riley was rather a sporting character. And Mrs. Riley could hardly ever tell a fortune without the misfortune to herself of a month's hard labour in the county gaol. It was at Ascot, on a summer evening, and Riley sat very melancholy in the mouth of his tent. He had lost that day eight sovereigns at pitch-and-toss ; and " Oh ! " he was thinking, " if I could sell my blood, wouldn't I jump at the chance?" " So you can, Riley," said a voice ; and dbrdil just before him stood a wizzened, ill-looking mannikin, dressed very old-fashioned like, with a villainous brickdust-coloured face, and two long curls hanging one each side of that face. " So you can, Riley, it said, and as it spoke it kept wriggling like an eel ; "and nothing to do for it but to come to the quarry" — I forget its exact name, but it was somewhere on the Berkshire downs — " the last Monday of every month at midnight, and pay me a silver shilling." These were easy terms, thought Rile)', and closed with the bar- gain ; and for a year and a half no gypsy was ever so lucky as he. A splendid new waggon he had Ijuilt at I .eeds ; and in that waggon were five grand silver teapots, and in each of the teapots one hundred golden sovereigns. But wait a bit. One evening Riley was sitting in the best parlour of the head public-house at New- bury, with his pockets so stuffed with money that he had to pin them up to keep it from rolling on the floor. And first he called for a glass of beer, and then for a pint of ale, then for a bottle of wine, and then for a pail of brandy. How much of the last he swallowed I cannot say ; at any rate he never left the house that night, and this was the last Monday of November. No, under the table he tumbled, and lay there till daybreak ; and, as he lay, the crafty landlord emptied his pockets ; when he came to himself he hadn't one farthing left. ^\nd few were the farthings that ever thereafter came in Riley's wa)', for that very night his waggon was burnt to ashes, and his former unluck was luck to what it was now. Wretchedly poor he died at last in a tumble- down house at Battersea ; and while he lay dying the windows kept slamming up and down, the doors banging to and fro. " And this", my informant declared, " was a sign that the devil was come to fetch Riley home."

Groome. — Influence of the Gypsies. 303

The phrase is in every case " selhng (not oneself, but) one's blood" to the devil, with which may be compared the belief of the Transylvanian gypsies, that to become a witch, a woman must take instruction from a witch, often for years, and in payment must every day give her a drop of blood from the little finger of the left hand. The Anglo-Romani words for " wizard" and witch" in the Turkish dialect mean " revenant, spectre", where we catch a sug- gestion of vampyrism ; but of Anglo-gypsy witchcraft there is not much to record. In Shetland, in 161 2, four Egyptians were accused of sorcery and fortune-telling, "and that they can help or hinder in the proffeit of the milk of bestiale; otherwise, to the best of my knowledge, the gypsies escaped scot-free in the witch persecutions. This, even although in the nineteenth century they sometimes practice and counsel unholy rites, that would not sur- prise us in Bodin. Thus, only eight years ago, an English gypsy girl, to put a spell on her false lover, at midnight cut the heart out of a live white pigeon, and flung the poor bird on a clear coke fire, which raised, so her brother told me, such a tempest that she was terrified and went no further. And there was a gypsy woman who found out a house to tell fortunes at, and got a five-pound note off the woman, and told her to go to the shop and buy a pound of soap, and go to some running water and wash, repeating, " I wash myself away from God Almighty ; I wash myself away from God Almighty".

This was a Welsh gypsy woman ; and the Welsh gypsies have retained a good many beliefs and practices that have been lost among their English brethren. Here are some samples from the letters to me of a Welsh gypsy harper, John Roberts, who was born in the year of Waterloo.

" Our old people had a curious way with snakes. \Vhen one of us children killed an adder, my daddy would cut it in half with a whip or a stick ; and the head he would put on the right side of the road, and the tail on the left. Then my mother would walk be- tween them first, my daddy next to her, and all we children after them in a row, from the eldest down to the littlest. And my poor mother used to say some funny words to herself, what none of us ever knew or ever did ; but, for certain, when we used to go through that performance, mother would not be long before she had a pocketful of gold."

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Again, there were the "R6mani signs", as "when my poor mother used to hear a very small sound of a small bee, making a noise in the middle of the night, when she used to be sleeping in some building, when all of us used to be fast asleep, that would be one great sign that hundreds of pounds would be coming to her soon.

" Or when she used to see a pig or a cow rub themselves against a cart-wheel, a post, or a gate, or something else of the kind, she would be sure to have gold that day. But the greatest of all her signs would be some of us finding broad gorse, broad thistle, broad ash, and especially holly. And onest, when I was a little young boy along with my father and mother, I remember that we were very poorly off in Anglesey, in the town by name of Beaumaris. \\'e had no horse nor donkey, but just a great wallet on my back ; and away we started from that town, quite early in the morning ; and there was nothing at all for us to take a little refreshment before we went upon our road. But never fear ; we were not long before I cut a fine broad holly with a most beautiful plume, and gave it to my mother. And soon as she saw it, she did break it up in three, and did say some words to herself when she broke it up, and put- ting it into her pocket. I do not know what she used to say, but I think she used to say something about " mw deary Devel" (my dear God), and something else very curious ; and she used to look up to the sky, and make funny eyes, and they were turning more black. But, however, we were not long after finding it; the very next house that my mother went to call, she made a great drokraben (haul at fortune-telling), and dre\\- from four to five hundred pound-notes." By broad holly, broad gorse, etc., the gypsies mean the fasciated growth, somewliat resembling a bishop's pastoral staff ; and to find it one has to set out fasting at daybreak, and seek it fasting, it may be the whole day long.

Of the evil eye, believed in most firmly by Roumanian gypsies, I have found some traces. Thus, a gypsy mother at Battersea would not let her baby be seen by its half-witted uncle, for fear his looking at it should turn its black hair red ; and two young gypsies, whose bid for a horse had been rejected, " looked evil on it, so that a big hole came in its back". As an instance of the force of imprecation, at Peterborough Fair, in 1872, I saw a blind gypsy child, " made blind", I was told, " through the father wish- ing a wish" — a curious euphemism for an awful curse.

Groome. — Influence of the Gypsies. 305

I know but one case of metamorphosis ; its source well illus- trates the ubiquity of gypsydom. For in the quadrangle of Merton College, Oxford, I met, twenty years ago, a gypsy house-dweller, one of the Smiths, who supplied the college-cook with wooden meat- skewers. He was one of a largish gypsy colony at Headington, where I afterwards picked up a good deal of gypsy-lore. His wife it was — Cinderella her "Christian" name — who told me the story of " Fair Rosamer and the Bower", much as we learned it in our old childhood's histories. Only there were two additions : that she was so fair, you could have seen the poison pass down her throat as she drank it ; and that near the bower there still stands a holy briar, which, being enchanted, bleeds if a twig be plucked. Is this detail of gypsy or of Oxfordshire origin ? I cannot say, but at least it is worth recording.

Intensely gypsy, at any rate, is a kind of Tabu, widely current among gypsies both here and on the Continent. It is most com- monly associated with the memory of the dead, whom, if nothing else, the gypsies reverence. A frequent form of it is the never mentioning the dead one's name. Quite lately I was sitting, near Edinburgh, in the caravan of Frampton Boswell, a clever, likeable gypsy of fifty. Our talk turned somehow on his Christian name — I know the name Frampton in Dorsetshire — and I asked him how he had come by it, was it his father's? "Well, Mr. Groome," he made answer, "I can't tell you that. But wait a minute." Therewith he went off to a neighbouring caravan, his mother's, and returned with the framed photograph of a grave, on whose neat headstone I read, " Thomas Boswell, traveller," and the date 1873. "There, Mr. Groome," said Frampton, "that was my poor father's name ; but, you know, I've never spoken it not since the day he died."

Another form is the lifelong abstention from some favourite delicacy of the deceased — roast pork, trout, apples, ale, tea, or even tobacco. I remember the curious evasion of a vow thus made by two brothers, on their mother's death, never thenceforth to touch a drop of beer in a public-house. Nor did they. I have known them in Leith Street, the most frequented thoroughfare in Edinburgh, go into a public-house, and each get a pint of bitter, and then come outside, and drink it, bare-headed, on the pave- ment. They seemed to regard it as a pious rite. Akin hereto


3o6 Institution and Custom Section.

was Mrs. Draper's teetotal pledge, that sooner than touch beer or spirits she would go to Loughton churchyard, and drink the blood of her dead son lying there (another hint this of vampyrism) ; and also akin hereto was the conduct of Phoebe Bunce's boy, who drank hot water instead of tea all the time that his mother was in gaol for fortune-telling.

And equally gypsy is a sort of ceremonial purity, according to which it is tnbkhado (unclean) to wash a tablecloth and shirt together — " what you eat off with what you wear" ; and according to which the plate, or dish, or even copper vessel that has been licked by a dog, should be destroyed. I was talking this spring with a gypsy, and he said : "I can cook anything plain as well as most women, Mr. Groome ; but then, of course, I ought to, being as I'm the father of eight children." "How so?" I asked. And he answered, " Why, every time the old woman was brought to bed, I had to do everything for a month afterwards ; that 's our way. She has her own cup and saucer and plate ; and when the month 's up, we break 'em. It 's going out now, but the rale old- fashioned gypsies they'd make her wear gloves even after the month was up ; and, of course, she mightn't touch dough for a whole year afterwards. The gypsies believe that this law is written in the Bible ; it is certainly practised by their German brethren.

I have all but done. I do not claim to have proved much in my paper, but I have suggested, I hope, a good many doubts, a good many possibilities. I have here said nothing about gypsy folk- tales,^ but by gypsy folk-tales I can best illustrate my main con- tention. Say that one of you is making a little tour in Wales, in a Welsh inn-garden you come on an old Welsh harper, playing ancient Welsh airs, and speaking Welsh more fluently than English. You draw him, of course, for folk-tales, and, lo ! he proves a perfect mine of them — long, unpublished stories, all about magic snuff-boxes and magic balls of yarn, the kings of the mice and the frogs and the fowls of the air, griffins of the green- wood, golden apples and golden castles, sleeping princesses, and all the rest of it. " Eureka ! " you cry, and straightway meditate a new Welsh Mabinogion. Welsh — Celtic — not at all necessary, your old Welsh bard is just John Roberts the gypsy. Or to take

  • 1 wrote pretty fully on them in the National Review for July \i%i.

Groome. — Influence of the Gypsies. 307

an actual case. Prior to i860, Mr. Campbell of Islay collected his Popular Tales of the West Highlands. He tells us his sources, one of the chief of them is John McDonald, " an old wandering vagabond of a tinker", yet still, it would seem, a true Gael. But wait a minute; wait, rather, thirty years. In the August of 1890 my friend Dr. Fearon Ranking, a good Gaelic and a better Romani scholar, was staying in Argyllshire, when at Crinan Harbour he came across a party of seven " tinkers", possessors of a good-sized fishing-smack, in which they sail from place to place on the west coast and among the islands, making and mending pots and pans. He found that, besides Gaelic and English, they could speak " Shelta, the tinkers' talk", and also Romani, the latter much better than most of the Scottish gypsies. And on his ask- ing them where they got their Romani from, one of the men said : " AVe got it from our grandfather. He could speak it much better than we can," and then volunteered the information that this grandfather was a keeper to the Duke of Argyll, and had supplied Campbell of Islay with many of his Highland tales. The question at once arises. Were his stories, then, Gaelic or gypsy ?

As with their folk-tales, so with their superstitions, there is even a like uncertainty. The case lies thus. It may be one thousand, it may be two thousand years, since the ancestors of our present gypsies set forth on their wanderings from their far Eastern home. Sooner or later they arrived in Europe, and in Europe they seem to have lived first for several centuries in a Greek-speaking region, and afterwards, for longer or shorter periods, among Slavs, Roumans, Hungarians, and Germans — this we know by the loan-words in Anglo-Romani. And now for four hundred years they have wandered in our midst, pervading the kingdom so thoroughly that I believe there is not one single parish where some time or other they have not kindled their camp-fires.

When first they left India they would have Indian folk-tales and Indian superstitions, some of which may still linger, however cor- rupted, among them. Just as trtishul, our gypsies' word for the Christian cross, is the Sanskrit trisula, the trident of Siva.

From Greeks and from Slavs they would pick up fresh folk-tales and fresh superstitions, even as from the Greeks they borrowed their words for "Sunday" and "magpie", from the Slavs for "ale-house" and "small-pox. And everywhere they would be looked on as a

X 2

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dark, uncanny race, the born practitioners of mystic arts ; every- where the superstitious would resort to the gypsies' tents for super- stitions. Is this unHkely of the old credulous past? No, indeed; from my knowledge of the nineteenth-century gypsydom, I main- tain that it could not be otherwise.

" The colporteurs of folk-lore" — Mr. Leland's felicitous phrase — sums up the whole matter neatly in a nutshell.


Dr. Gaster said that the long sojourn of the Gypsies in Roumania had only been in consequence of their not having been liberated. The best collections of superstitions had been made by Gypsy minstrels, which went far to corroborate the claim Egypt had in the dissemina- tion of literature. But it could not be denied that they were not only the givers, but also the borrowers, many scenes and superstitions being almost e.xact copies of Armenian fairy tales.

Mr. Leland said he had never read any work on Gypsy influence in any language which gave so good a summary as Mr. Groome's paper. It was a curious fact with regard to Egyptian palmistry that after having conferred with at least loo fortune-tellers, he had to come to the conclusion that Gypsies knew next to nothing about palmistry. Two hundred years ago Johannes Prastorius had written a book reducing palmistry to a science, and finding by comparison how certain lines indicated, not one's fate, but character. His atten- tion had then been drawn to the Gypsies who came into the land, and he had found that, although they had a wonderful intuition, and could read character well from people's faces, they knew nothing about palmistry.

Mr. Alfred Nutt was afraid that there was some danger in the consideration of papers like the present, of the great number of details making one lose sight of the more general lesson. Mr. Groome was, he thought, a believer in the theory that Gypsies had influenced to a very great extent the folk-lore of modern Europe, and he thought that a priori there was nothing to object. But as far as his examples went they did not bear out his theory at all. Again, as regards palmistry, Mr. Groome considered that this was a contribution to the European folk-lore by the Gypsies, whilst another equally high autho- rity stated that they knew nothing about it at all. Who was to decide when doctors differed ?


The comparison of Indian and feudal institutions is a subject of some breadth and complexity. It would be idle, in such a paper as this, to attempt to traverse any wide extent of the complicated region of inquiry which that comparison opens to view ; so I hope I may be pardoned if the remarks I venture to offer are necessarily slight. There is the more reason why they should be so, because the subject on which I have been asked to address you has little or no connection with folk-lore in the narrower acceptation of that term. In my belief, however, it has a very close connection with the general history of institutions ; so that in this section what I have to say may not be altogether out of place.

Briefly stated, my object in this paper is to touch, rather than to handle, the triple question, What sort of light is the Indian evidence likely to throw on the origin of the manor, on the process of feudalisation, and on the severance of ideas of sove- reignty from ideas of property in land ?

Indian official literature is like a muniment-room from which the documents of merely passing consequence have never been weeded out. Amid an immense mass of material, of which part has long ceased to have any interest, and part never had any but an official interest for those engaged in the practical business of administration, there are a great many reports, or passages in reports, which possess real value in the history of institutions. I propose to turn the key of that muniment-room, and to pick out one or two passages from reports which I hope may interest you, and which will, at all events, help me to explain what I have to say on the triple question that I have just stated.

In his admirable Settlement Report of the Gonda district in Oudh, Mr. Benett makes the acute remark that the basis of Hindu political society which he describes is the grain-heap.

3IO Institution and Custom Section.

The division of the threshed grain amongst the various people entitled to a share in an Indian village or hamlet — I use the word " hamlet" to mark the fact that the cultivated lands may be held in full severalty by families of which the members may or may not hold jointly amongst themselves — lies, I think, at the root of any correct theory of the origin and character of Indian political and proprietary institutions. I will take a description of that division from Mr. Fryer's Settlement Report of the Dera Ghazi Khan district of the Punjab, a district in which I served for eighteen months a good many years ago. First of all a varying share of the grain, usually in that part of the country one-fourth, is set apart as mahsul, a word that means the thing collected by authority, the equivalent of the state-rent or land-tax. Another name for the same thing is the hdkimi hissa, the share of the hdkim or governor. Whoever takes this share is responsible for the payment of the state-rent or land-tax, known in India as the revenue — unless, indeed, he is himself the ruler, or the ruler has by grant excused him from the whole or part of the demand. If a part only is excused, he is responsible for the residue. Out of the remainder of the grain-heap a small portion, usually a six- teenth or seventeenth, is a proprietary due, and is taken by the proprietor, who may or may not be also the actual cultivator. Various small shares are then set apart for the tumandar, or tribal chief, who may also take the mahsul, for the remuneration of village servants — the weighman, potter, blacksmith, winnower, shoemaker, watchman, and so forth — or for charity, as for some local shrine or theoretically holy beggar or village priest. What then remains goes to the cultivator. If the proprietor is also the cultivator, he gets the cultivator's share.

In the comparison of Indian and feudal institutions it is important to follow carefully the disposal of the hakimi hissa or ruler's share. In the old days commonly, under our own adminis- tration almost invariably, the share is commuted for a money payment. The share, or the money that represents it, may be variously assigned ; it may be divided, part going to one person, part to another ; it may be farmed out for a stated sum, or for a percentage on the collections ; or may even be sold by auction to the highest bidder. These, I must add, are not our expedients; they were the expedients of our predecessors. The shares of the

TuPPER. — Indian Institutions and Feudalism. 31 1

grain allowed to village servants and given away in charity may be regarded as pretty constant. The share in Dera Ghazi Khan of the tumanddr, or tribal chief, is a local peculiarity of which all I need say here is that in any general view it may be left out of consideration. It is thus very clear that the rights of the culti- vating classes are strong or weak according as more or less is left them after the. ruler's share is taken.

This description enables me to explain some Indian terms which I shall have to use presently. In Hindu phrase a rdj, in Muhammadan phrase a ridsat, is a principality. Within the territorial limits of the rdJ or ridsat the Raja or chief is entitled to the ruler's share. He may owe allegiance, tribute, or military service, or all three, to some political superior. By a convenient anachronism, by the use of language which belongs to a much less primitive state of things, we may say that within his own territories he enjoys a large measure of sovereignty, and combines in his own person such of the functions of the lawgiver, chief judge, and chief administrator as his archaic or mediaeval sur- roundings require. The rdj or ridsat must be sharply contrasted with the jdgir. The word jdgir is derived from two Persian words, /a, "a place", and giriftan, "to take", and jdgirddr literally ' means one who holds the place of another. K jdgir is a certain extent of territory where the ruler's share in money or kind has been assigned by the grant of the ruler to a given individual, who commonly thereby acquires the right to collect it. In respect of this share the jdgirddr takes the place of the ruler. A zaminddr is just the converse of a jdgir. The zaminddr, or landholder in a certain extent of territory, does not receive a grant of the ruler's share ; he is appointed to collect it and to pay it over to the ruler. He is remunerated for his trouble by grants in land, or an allowance out of the collection, or by both. There are, of course, other meanings of this famous word zaminddr, but this account of it will suffice for present purposes. A Raja conquered by a Delhi emperor or a Ranji't Singh might be treated as a jdgirddr or as a zamindar. He might be allowed to continue to enjoy the ruler's share in a certain territory as a grant from his con- queror, or he might be theoretically required to pay over his collections — that is, as much as his conqueror was able to exact. In the latter case, though the officials of the Delhi empire might

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call him a zaminddr, the peasants of his rdj would still regard him as the Raja.

We shall now be able to follow without pause Sir James Lyall's description of a Rajput principality in the Punjab hills, which I shall give presently almost in his own words. I have, however, first to say something of the part of the country to which it applies. Roughly, it is the Himalayan ranges between Simla and Kashmir. Much of it consists of forests and grazing-grounds, or impracticable precipices or crags. But in valleys or on hillsides at the lower elevations there is a good deal of cultivated land ; and terraced fields surrounding picturesque and scattered home- steads are often the foreground of vast woods of pine and cedar, crowned in the distance by perpetual snows. This land of mountains has immemorially been divided into petty states. In one part of it the tradition is that there used to be twenty-two prin- cipalities, eleven owning the headship of the Katoch Rajas of Kangra, and eleven known as the Dogra Circle, of which the headship was vested in the chief of Jammu, a territory which is now incorporated with Kashmir. The Delhi emperors subjugated the Rajas of these hills and recognised them as zamindars of these states, but did not interfere materially with the old state of society. Nor in remote outlying regions was the grip of the Gurkbas, or after them of the Sikhs, strong enough to twist into new shapes the old traditional institutions. Under these Rajas the theory of property in land (I am now reproducing almost verbally Sir James Lyall's report) was that each Raja was the landlord of the whole of his principality. He was not the lord paramount of inferior lords of manors, though, as I have shown, he might have a sort of suzerain above him. He was, as it were, manorial lord of his whole country, which was divided not into townships cultivated by village communities, or into estates, but into circuits — mere groupings of separate holdings under one collector of rents. The rent due from each field was payable direct to the Raja, and represented his share of the produce. He might remit or assign it ; but if he assigned it as a.jdgir he gave Xhejagir in scattered pieces, so as to prevent the growth of any intermediate lordship. Every sort of right connected with land might be held direct of the Raja as a separate tenancy : the right, for instance, of cultivation, of pasture, of netting game and

TUPPER. — Indian Institutions and Feudalism. 313

hawks, of working water-mills, of setting up fish-weirs. The artisans holding garden-plots of the Raja were bound to service to him only. The landholders were also liable to be pressed into service military or menial. All waste lands, great and small, were the Raja's waste; parts of the forests were his shooting-preserves; trees could not be felled, nor could new fields be formed out of the waste, without his permission. "All rights", says Sir James Lyall, " were supposed to come from the Raja ; several rights . . from his grant, and rights of common from his suffer- ance.

Now let us set beside this account a description of an English manor. I will quote that given by Sir Fred. Pollock at page 128 of his Oxford Lectures : " The English manor", he says, " as we find it from the Conquest downwards, included the lord, the free tenants who held of the lord by regular feudal tenure and owed suit to the court, and the villeins or customary tenants who held land according to the custom of the manor on villenage or base tenure, being generally bound not only to make stated payments in kind, but to furnish work on the lord's own land at stated times. The pattern of society here depicted is in much sharper lines. Both the theories and practice of lawyers, both legal definition and the regular working of regularly constituted courts of justice, have here given an amount of system and rigidity to classes of people connected with the land, and to their rights and duties, which it would be an error to seek in old hill-states where there were no lawyers, and practically no law but custom and the will of the chief; and where the absence of any distinction between judi- cial and executive authority, and of even so much as the idea of legal, as opposed to customary, precedent, made it impossible for the rude tribunals of the Rajas to give to social conbinations any greater distinctness than they spontaneously acquired. Never- theless, the similarities are striking ; in both cases you have the land as the basis of a complete social group ; in both cases the proprietary rights of the chief or lord are intermixed with his rights of jurisdiction ; in both cases the permanent rights of others in the land are associated with obligations of military or personal service. And these resemblances are the more worthy of atten- tion because the Indian example occurs where no sort of Roman influence ever operated, and where there is no trace of the past

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or present existence of the compact village community found in great perfection in the not very distant Punjab plains.

The effect of this evidence is, I think, to suggest hesitation in asserting anything like an exclusively Roman origin of the manor or fief. And, again, if we suppose that in England the manorial group succeeded the village group, and that one element in the change was that the waste or common-land of the community became the lord's waste, we can see, from the tight hold of the hill Rajas on the forests and uncultivated lands which never belonged to any village community, that, to say the least, this supposition supplies no exhaustive theory of the origin of institu- tions of a manorial type. On the other hand, this evidence, and much more evidence which might be adduced from many parts of India, confirms the view that in many old tribal societies there was a propulsion towards feudalism exhibiting itself indepen- dently of those forces of Roman law and Roman administration which gave it a new character and a new direction.

The truth, however, is that these hill principalities and others which existed in Oudh before our day are more like the French fiefs than the English manors.

As regards the Oudh principalities, which have been described in Mr. Benett's Gonda Settlement Report, I may say that I have carefully compared his list of quasi-feudal dues levied by the Gonda Rajas with the elaborate list of feudal rights given in Note E of De Tocqueville's France before the Revolution. The Gonda dues included tolls on beasts of burden bringing goods to bazaars, on ferries, bridges, and roads, besides the Raja's share of the produce. To each of these there is a parallel in De Toc- queville's list ; and there are many other resemblances of a less obvious description that it would take time to explain. I would express the result by saying that if we did not know historically that France was at one time honeycombed with petty states, each enjoying a certain measure of sovereignty, we might, from the comparison of these lists, have inferred it as a certainty.

I must pass on quickly now to the process of feudalisation. What were the circumstances and motives that, during the tenth and eleventh centuries, converted allodial lands into feudal lands ? Why chiefly in France, but also in Italy and Germany, were lands surrendered by their proprietors to be received back again

TUPPER. — Indian Institutions and Feudalism. 315

on feudal conditions ? What connection was there between these surrenders of lands and commendation — the practice, that is, of establishing a personal relation, distinguished by Hallam from the feudal relation of lord and vassal, a relation resembling that of patron and client under Roman law ? These are questions in the history of European institutions, and a partial answer is given by Hallam. In the distracted state of society the weak needed the protection of the powerful. Hallam adds that the government needed some security for pubhc order; but this remark seems rather to explain the use of certain practices found ready to hand by governments that succeeded in establishing them- selves, than the causes which evolved political society out of anarchy. In reality these questions touch one of the most interesting problems in political philosophy, the origin of political power.

In studying these questions with an eye to the larger one in which they may be merged, I think you will agree with me that , there is Indian evidence which may be of use. We must not expect exact resemblances. I can quote no case in India where the tie between lord and vassal is in every strand the same as the tie between a feudal vassal and a feudal lord. I can point to no precise analogy to the practice of commendation. But in the India to which I mainly refer throughout this paper — the India of the times which preceded British rule — I can instance circum- stances and motives at work tending to produce feudal types of society. They are the more instructive because the influences of the Roman empire and of the Catholic Church are both entirely absent.

Towards the end of the fifteenth or beginning of the sixteenth century the Yusafzais, Mahammadzais, and other PathSn tribes settled on the plains of the Peshawar district of the Punjab. They first begged and obtained land from the Dilazako, the pre- vious occupants, and soon afterwards fought and expelled them. The Pathdn families of these tribes located themselves in neigh- bouring villages, the rest of the tribal tract being held in common and used chiefly for pasturage. In course of time these Pathdns allowed cultivators from other parts, who had no share in the tribal inheritance, to settle amongst them. These settlers were called fakirs or hamsdyas, persons under the same shade ; and.

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lands were given them on a service-tenure. They were required to attend the land-owning Pathan tribesmen in their raids and fights, to furnish grain and grass for their guests, to provide the guest-house with beds and blankets, to take turns in watch and ward, and occasionally to work in building and reaping. By degrees several of the khans, strong men, tribal leaders, assumed privileges, and in particular collected fees from these hamsdyas on the occasion of births and marriages. As clan encroached on clan, hamlets were established on the boundaries of tribal tracts, the occupants being in part some of the poorer tribesmen and in part these hamsayas or fakirs. No tax, no rent, no share of the crop was paid. These occupants of boundary hamlets held solely on condition of warding off attacks and joining expeditions. The other services were excused on account of the distance from the original settlement. " The personal character of some of the khans", says the late Major James, from whose PeshAvvar Settle- ment Report these particulars are taken, " enabled them at this time to make further innovations, and they frequently acquired such power as to enable them to settle villages on their own account, realising a certain portion of the produce, and even to remove proprietors from one locality to another. Again and again in India has that demand for a portion of the produce been the foundation, as it is still the symbol, of political authority. In this case local circumstances, chief amongst which was the stub- born, jealous, democratic character of the Pathan tribesmen, led to another development. But here we see a tenure so far servile that it included liability to the corvee, side by side with a purely military tenure curiously like the tenure of a feudal vassal. Surely this is feudalism in the making in a society as purely tribal as that of the Germans of Tacitus, and even further removed than that of the Germans of Tacitus from Roman influences both of Church and State.

These hamsayas had no lands to surrender. They acquired lands by the arrangement which gave them protection. But in the case of men already in the possession of lands, the hand of the oppressor and the protector was too often one and the same. One plunderer may agree to keep others at bay if steadily bribed by possible victims. The Des-Kdvali, or district watching-fees of the Fo/igiirs of the Carnatic — many of whom, in the confusions of

TuPPER. — Indian Institutions and Feudalism. 317

the eighteenth century, set up for themselves as independent chiefs — were theoretically paid for the sake of protection. In practice these fees were levied by the Poligdrs from defenceless villagers as the price of forbearing to plunder them. The Poligdr sent out armed men from his fort and demanded payments in money, grain, cattle, and other things. If payment was refused, the villagers were flogged or tortured, or kidnapped or killed. Sup- pose demands of this kind to be regularly made over a certain extent of territory within easy reach of expeditions from the fort, is it not plain that in time they might turn into a tax, and that the robber-chief might become a Raja of just such a manorial prin- cipality as I have described from the Punjab hills ? The same connection between oppression and protection is discernible in an entirely different part of India, in Rajputtaa, which is as unlike the Carnatic of last century as the Palestine of Judah and Israel is unlike Merovingian France. Rekwali in Rajputana is a name for a kind of blackmail. In explaining it Col. Tod quotes Lord Lovat's Report on the Highlands of Scotland in 1724: "When the people are almost ruined by continual robberies and plunders, the leader of the band of thieves, or some friend of his, proposes that, for a sum of money annually paid, he will keep a number of men in arms to protect such a tract of ground, or as many parishes as submit to the contribution. "When the terms are agreed upon he ceases to steal, and thereby the contributors are safe ; if any- one refuses to pay, he is immediately plundered." Rekwali may be described as contributions paid, lands granted, or services rendered in consideration of protection. There were payments in money or kind at harvest ; personal services in agriculture, the husbandman finding implements and cattle, and attending when ordered ; fees on marriages ; dishes of good fare at wedding feasts ; and portions of fuel and provender. Sometimes the person protected sank into a position hardly distinguishable from that of a serf. Often the arrangement was based on the grant by the villagers to the chief of their ancient proprietary rights in a portion of their lands. Tod identifies rekwali with the salvamenta of Europe, paid by those who had preserved their allodial pro- perty to insure its defence. But the surrender of lands in certain cases to the chief, though the chiefs did not restore them, connects rekwali with the process of feudalisation ; and the fact that it

3i8 Institution and Custom Section.

was levied on passing caravans, wherever they halted for the day, shows that in origin it was essentially blackmail.

From the rekwali of Rajpiitana it is an easy transition to the famous chauth of the Marhattas. Chauth means a fourth, and what the Marhattas eventually claimed was the chanth or fourth of the land revenue, that is, of the ruler's share of the produce in money or kind, of all India. In its origin the Marhatta chauth was a payment to obtain protection as well as exemption from pillage. And here the difference between East and West is striking and characteristic. In Europe an individual, by volun- tary compact, assumes a new personal status ; he takes upon him- self a new legal clothing, partly of German, partly of Roman materials, but of a new fashion that is neither German nor Roman. In India a community, or an officer, or tributary prince of a decaying empire, agrees to pay to a new master a part of that share of the crop, or its cash equivalent, which by immemorial custom had been taken by the ruler of the day. And observe the con- nection between such agreements and territorial sovereignty. Out of the claims, conquests, and military arrangements of the Mar- hattas arose a loose, though complex, military confederacy, and, in the end, a still surviving group of territorial despotisms.

There are points of resemblance between the rise of the Mar- hattas and the rise of the Sikhs; but the dominion of the great Sikh Maharaja, Ranjit Singh, was better consolidated than the Marhatta empire ever was. In his progress to supremacy Ranjit Singh habitually reduced independent chiefs to the position of Jdgirddrs acknowledging his authority and bound to follow him with contingents in war. Conquering their territories, he some- times restored a part of them in ji'igir sometimes he gave the dispossessed chief a JdgLr in another part of the country. You remember that a jdgir rae;ms a grant of the ruler's share of the crop in money or kind. Th&stjdgirs established a sort of feudal relation between the Maharaja and the conquered chiefs, but it was in no sense voluntary ; it was forced upon them by conquest in arms. There is, however, in this part of India a famous historical example of the voluntary adoption of a new allegiance. On the south and east of the Sutlej a number of chiefs, having strong reason to know that Ranjit Singh meant to extend his overlord- ship to their possessions, sought the protection of the British

TUPPER. — Indiati Institutions and Feudalism. 319

Government. It was granted, and the treaty of 1809 made the Sutlej the line of demarcation between, as we might now say, the respective spheres of influence of the Maharaja and the British. Many of these chiefs misbehaved in the first Sikh war, and were reduced by ourselves to the position of jdgirddrs. Six of them still enjoy local autonomy ; and though their exact status could not be briefly explained, I cannot consider them misdescribed by the phrase in common use which names them feudatories of the Indian Empire.

These Indian illustrations give, I think, some support to the remark of Bishop Stubbs, that though feudalism was of distinctly Frank growth, the principle that underlies it may be universal. If I am asked what is the bearing of this evidence on the ques- tions in the history of European institutions from which I set out, I would answer, Look at the elaborate regulations for judicial combat or private war intended to mitigate greater disorder, at the well-known descriptions of the unceasing petty warfare of feudal times, at the conversion of the Roman vi/lix into forts, at the castles which still dot the Rhine. It is not, I think, without significance that the salvainenta are traced chiefly in the charters of monasteries. Strong ecclesiastical corporations might stem for a time the tide that rapidly over- whelmed individuals. If in those centuries of rapine and violence an individual was strong enough to keep his own allodial property, he probably also had both the power and the will to prey upon his neighbours. It seems a reasonable conjecture that in parts of Europe everyone who was strong enough to avoid becoming a feudal vassal, might set up for himself as a feudal lord. And if we wish to note one of the great points of difference between European feudalism and the nascent, never completed feudalism of India, we may lay our finger on the one word com- mendation. Protection was sought in various ways or accepted as the alternative of plunder ; and in India, as in feudal Europe, the land was the basis of all political institutions. But in India there was no Roman law of patron and freedman, of patron and client ; nor was there that heritage of the ideas of formally enacted law which had devolved on the Frankish kings and the Church from the days of the great Empire. For this reason a new personal status, resulting from a contract and carrying with it a complete

320 Institution and Custom Section.

set of rights and duties, is not amongst the properties of the Indian stage in the confused drama of the eighteenth century.

Guizot resolves the feudal system into certain elements which may, I think, be thus stated. First there is the fief, or feudal lordship or manor, considered as property in land ; secondly, there is the fief considered as a semi-sovereign state ; and thirdly, there are the rules and principles which regulated the relations of these semi-sovereign states to each other and to the central power or suzerain. The first of these elements would be illustrated by the comparison of the English manor, the French fief, and the Indian raj or principality ; and the third by an analysis of the distribu- tion of pohtical power in all the great empires established in India during historical times, in the empires of the Moghals, the Mar- hattas, the Sikhs, and the British. It is, however, on the second element, or the fusion of sovereignty and property, that I have still a few words to say before I conclude. To a man educated in our own time and country there is an exceedingly sharp contrast between political power and power over private property. In Eng- land no one could be in danger of confusing a tax with a rental ; while we have given to individuals a very extensive power of dispos- ing of land, we have entirely separated that power from all territorial dominion. In India, before British rule, the combination of rights of sovereignty with rights over the land and its produce is a very familiar fact. We see it everywhere in the ruler's share of the crop ; it is clearly evident in the description of the Punjab Hill Principality ; the Jdgirddrs, often in the old days exercising the functions of petty chieftains, held assignments of the ruler's share ; the great zamindars of Bengal were some of them Rajas, and some might have regained or established their independence had not Clive and the Company struck in. To students of the history of institutions it is well known that ideas which are separated as so- ciety advances are intimately intermingled in early times. We sup- pose that mankind only gradually learns to distinguish a rule of law from a rule of religion. The law of property when we first per- ceive traces of it is blended with the law of personal status ; the separate enjoymentof property in land is evolvedfromits jointenjoy- ment; primitive folk do not discriminate crimes from civil wrongs, or the substantive criminal law from criminal procedure. May not the separation of the ideas of property and sovereignty, fused

T UPPER. — Indian histitutions and Feudalism. 321

alike in feudal Europe and in nearly feudalised India, be another illustration of the working of the law of evolution that underlies all these progressive changes ? All of them start from rudimen- tary ideas of law, not yet distinguished from custom, which them- selves imply a certain social advance. All of them, therefore, imply a still earlier state of things. Before we get to territorial sovereignty, there is tribal chieftainship, there is the mere leader- ship of robber bands. If there is something earlier than terri- torial sovereignty, that does not exclude the operation of the usual laws of progress when sovereignty of that kind has once been established. In Europe territorial sovereignty was the outcome of feudalism. The two distinct conceptions of sovereignty, run- ning through international law and jurisprudence respectively, are due in Europe the one to the Publicists, the other to the Analy- tical Jurists. It is largely to both of them that we owe the severance of ideas of sovereignty from other ideas with which it was blended at the outset of our modern life. In India, though the process of disentanglement has been, under British rule or supremacy, more rapid than in Europe, the working of the law of evolution may be discerned in our measures no less than in the political theories of the West. In a country where feudal tendencies have been arrested by our supremacy, in an Empire which at this day comprises six hundred and twenty-nine feudatory states, we have long been in the course of discriminat- ing ideas of property from ideas of sovereignty ; and our legisla- tive and political action is taken under influences largely derived from European international law and English jurisprudence.





It seems natural to begin with a reference to the methods em- ployed by Comparative Philology in dealing with the problem of the original home of the Aryans ; not because those methods have proved conspicuously successful, but because the Science of Language has been the first, and is as yet the only one, of the Sciences that treat of Man which has made any serious attempt to discover the Aryan home. It is, therefore, not unreasonable to expect that we may learn something from its methods — learn what to imitate and what to avoid.

Comparative Philology, then, first ascertains by processes of its own what words may be supposed to have belonged to the original language out of which all the Aryan languages have been evolved. Next, it examines the vocabulary thus obtained ; it enquires what animals and what plants were so familiar to the speakers of this original language that they found it necessary to give them names. It also enquires whether the speakers had names for mountains, rivers, sea, winter, spring and summer, snow and ice. Having thus ascertained the kind of climate, the fauna, the flora, and the physical geography of the land in which the speakers of the original language dwelt, the Comparative Philologist has only to look around until he finds some district in Europe or Asia which possesses the features presented by the original Aryan home.

Unfortunately, however, the field of choice is wider than the Linguistic Palseontologist could wish : for instance, there can be no doubt that snow was well known to the speakers of the original language (whom we will henceforth call Aryans, without prejudice to the question whether they had long heads or short heads, or heads below their shoulders) ; but snow is familiar alike

Jevons. — European or Asiatic Origin of the Aryans. 323

to the inhabitants of Scandinavia and to tribes who dwell within sight of the Himilayas. Again, no one will be found to deny that the original Aryan fauna included the dog, wolf, bear, otter, polecat, mouse, hare, beaver, horse, ox, sheep, goat, and pig. But all these animals "belong to that zone in the geographical distribution of animals which Wallace, in his Geographical Distri- bution of Animals, calls the ' palseo-arctic', and of which he says (i, 215) : ' This region is of enormous extent;, and embraces all the temperate zone of the great Eastern Continent. And yet the zoological unity of this enormous reach is so great, that even in lands so far removed from each other as Great Britain and North Japan most species of animals are identical.'" {Fre-historic Antiquities of the Aryan Peoples, p. 275.)

The Linguistic Palaeontologist is therefore compelled to resort to a somewhat dangerous method of procedure in order to identify the original home. He is compelled to take into con- sideration not only what animals were known to the Aryans, but also what animals were not known ; and unfortunately the only evidence which Comparative Philology can produce to show, for instance, that the camel, the tiger, the ass, the cat, the ape, the parrot, and the peacock were not known to the original Aryans is the fact that no names for those creatures can be traced back to the original language. But we cannot assign much weight to this fact when we reflect on the way in which words become obsolescent, and then obsolete. " Place the original starting-point of the Indo- Europeans where you will, it is wholly inconceivable that the original names for plants and animals should have persisted throughout the gradual expansion of the Indo-Germanic peoples. How could the names for the things persist when the things themselves had disappeared from view for perhaps thousands of years?" {Pre-historic Antiquities, p. 117). In fine, as Professor Sayce has said : " Just as the modern geologist insists on the imperfection of the geological record, so ought the glottologist to remember that only the wrecks and fragments of ancient speech have been preserved to us by happy accident. Countless words and forms have perished altogether, and though Pictet can show that an object designated by the same name in both Eastern and Western Aryan dialects must have been known to our remote ancestors of the pre-historic period yet the converse of

324 Institution and Custom Section.

this does not hold good." {Principles of Comparative Philology, p. 203.)

After this rapid glance at the workings of Linguistic Palaeon- tology, we may proceed to ask ourselves whether Folk-lore can adopt a similar method, and perchance use it more profitably than Comparative Philology has done. The very term " Comparative Philology" suggests Comparative Mythology. Let us, therefore, for the moment assume that the original (pro-ethnic) Aryans had myths ; and let us further assume that Comparative Mythology, by processes of its own, ascertains what myths may be reasonably supposed to have belonged to the original Aryan mythology — then it does not seem unreasonable to expect to derive from these myths some such information about the original home as we get from the primitive Aryan vocabulary. It seems a priori probable that the climatic and other surroundings of the myth- maker would, at any rate in some cases, betray themselves. The sun, for instance, is a factor of very different importance in the life of those living in northern latitudes and those living in the south. To the former he is rather beneficent, and his appearance an object of desire ; to the latter it is his absence which must in times of great heat be desirable. And these reflections hold good, whether the sun was or was not regarded as a deity. In the same way the season of the year with which the myth- makers were most familiar might be expected to leave the deepest traces in their myths. Nor does it seem improbable, a priori, that the fauna and flora of the primitive home would mirror themselves in the myths as well as the speech of the primitive Aryan : if the myth-maker had, for any reason, to mention a plant or an animal in his tale, he would naturally choose one familiar to himself and his audience.

On the other hand it is also highly probable, in the case of a tale transmitted from generation to generation, that, even if the outline of the story were preserved, minor details would be changed, and one animal might be substituted for another. Again, it is necessary to make some allowance for the poet's imagination. These are indeed difficulties, but they can scarcely be considered insuperable. Let us begin with the second diflS- culty. It is not unlike an obstacle which the Comparative Philologist sometimes finds in his way. For instance, when the

Jevons. — European or Asiatic Origin of the Aryans. 325

philologist has settled to his own satisfaction that the lion was known to the pro-ethnic Aryans, he finds it necessary, before he can conclude that the original home was in Asia, to consider what was the geographical distribution of this species of animal in pre- historic times. The Comparative Mythologist is in a yet more desperate plight, if it is incumbent on him to determine the pre- cise geographical distribution of, say, dragons, or griffins, or gold- dropping animals. Fortunately for him, however, such creations of the imagination, as a rule, betray themselves on the first in- spection, and absolve him from the duty of further investigation This is not, indeed, always the case : the soma plant, for instance, on the one hand plays such an important part in the cults of the Indo-Iranians that it is difficult to believe it is as mythical as fern-seed, and on the other has defied all the careful botanic researches which have been made both by Russians and by Englishmen on the mountains of the Hindu Kush and in the valley of the Oxus (Z. d. D. M. G., xxv, 680-92). But the Com- parative Mythologist need not anticipate many such cases of doubt.

Much more serious is the other difficulty already mentioned, that of ascertaining what the animals or plants were that figured in the original form of any given myth. In the original form a part may have been played in the story by some animal which was frequent in the Aryan home, but which (say) the European emigrants never saw again after their departure. In such circum- stances it would inevitably happen that the original animal would be ousted by some other animal with which the emigrants became familiar, provided there was sufficient resemblance to enable the two animals to interchange parts. The amount of resemblance required may be extremely small, and there may be no apparent reason for changing the animals ; for instance, in a Highland variant of the escape of Odysseus from the cave of the Cyclopp, the hero escapes, not by clinging to the fleece of one of the sheep, but by flaying the giant's dog and putting on its skin. In this case it seems reasonable to prefer the older extant version of the story, in the absence of anything else to determine our choice. But it is not always that we are in a position to decide which is the older of two various forms. There is, however, always the possibility that there may be some indispensable trait in the story

326 Institution and Custom Section.

which suits the one animal with much more propriety than the other. For instance, the Greek fable of The Lion and the Mouse, and the Indian fable of The Elephatit and the Mice, are so related that one must be borrowed from the other : the grateful mouse in each releases the lion (elephant) by gnawing the thongs with which its former benefactor is bound to a tree ; but " there is one decisive criterion which proves the priority of the Indian form and the dependence of the Greek upon it : elephants are fre- quently bound by cords to trees, lions never are" (Jacobs' Fables of ^-E sop, i, 90-91).

This example, taken from the introduction to Mr. Jacobs' jEsop, is, of course, drawn from fable, not from mythology, and belongs to historic, not to pre-historic, times. But what is possible in dealing with one class of tales may be possible with another ; and a comparative mythologist, if he had Mr. Jacobs' acuteness, might in this way make mythology teach what can never be learnt from philology. For if the names of the original fauna had grown obsolete amongst the European Aryans even in pre-historic times, it is hopeless for comparative philology to recover them. But it does not seem hopeless for comparative mythology.

What I have said about the fauna and flora of the original home is equally applicable to its climate as it appears in mytho- logy. We have here again to count with the poet's imagination : the description of the Elysian plain in the Odyssey (iv, 567 ff.),

oKK atet Ze(j)vpoto Xiyv Trveiovro'i a^jTa? 'n«ea;'o? avirjaiv avayfrv'^eiv av6pQ)TT0v<;,

could only have been imagined in a hot climate, just as "the cold touch of the north is on the poet" of the Great Rose Garden, whose " seat under the linden tree is covered with furs and samite" (Cox, Mythology of the Aryan Nations, i, 307). But here again we cannot say that it is impossible to recover the original climatic conditions under which a myth was produced. As an instance of what a comparative mytho- logist is capable of doing in this direction, I may refer to a paper by Hans von \\'olzogen {Zeitschrift fur Vdlkerpsychologie und Sprachiv., viii, p. 206 f.), which concludes as follows: "I found the idea of the fire-breathing dragon employed in the extremes! north as the mythical representation of the winter's cold, defeated by the sun-hero (Siegfried and Fafnir, Siegfried and

Jevons. — European or Asiatic Origin of the Aryans. 327

Brunhild, who is surrounded by the burning brake), and the same idea employed in the warm south as the mythical repre- sentation of the parching heat of the sun, from which the earth is rescued by the god of the thunderstorm. Obviously the latter idea, being the more natural, is the earlier ; while the former, which seems almost contradictory to reason, is only a traditional idea, the thing symbolised having entirely changed. If this was correct, it was obvious that the nations amongst whom this mythical idea survived had come from the country in which the idea did correspond exactly to the thing. By this, however, m my opinion, the Asiatic home of the Indo-Europeans was demonstrated."

Von Wolzogen limits his inference to the particular case of the fire-breathing dragon, but I should say it was undeniable that the whole tendency of the solar theory as hitherto worked was in favour of placing the original home of the Aryans in the warm south rather than in the frozen north. This is doubtless partly due to the fact that, at the time when the solar theory of mythology was first framed, no one had yet ventured to call in question the Asiatic origin of the Aryans.' It is also in part un- doubtedly due to the fact that in the Vedas, which are regarded by solar mythologists as containing the earliest monuments of Aryan mythology, the oppressive heat of a southern clime makes itself felt everywhere.

In this connection it is interesting to observe — and we may make the observation without trespassing on the question as to the present condition of the solar theory — that the fortunes of the solar theory of mythology and of the Asiatic hypothesis of the Aryan home have waned together. A certain amount of signifi- cance must, I think, be attached to this fact, for the opponents of the solar theory and the adversaries of the Asiatic hypothesis have worked quite independently of each other. Every blow dealt against the solar theory has had a tendency to weaken the Asiatic hypothesis, and every attack upon the Asiatic hypothesis has diminished the plausibility of the solar theory. But the argu- ments employed by mythologists against the solar theory are based on an entirely different set of considerations from those which have led linguistic palaeontologists to call in question the Asiatic hypothesis. If their conclusions tend in the same direction, they have been reached from different quarters ; the coincidence is undesigned, and therefore the more waghty.

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But this is somewhat of a digression. What I had been saying was that if comparative mythology could by methods of its own discover the myths of the pro-ethnic Aryans, as comparative philology has ascertained their vocabulary, we might reasonably expect to learn more about the original home from comparative mythology than comparative philology can ever teach us. But this way of stating the capabilities of comparative mythology un- fortunately calls to mind the apocryphal story that Wordsworth could have written Shakespeare, "if he had had a mind to do so". In AVordsworth's case it only required the mind. In the case of comparative mythology it only requires the myths. And will any one be found at the present day to maintain, that we can point to a single myth and say with any degree of reasonable confidence that it was known to the pro-ethnic Aryans ?

According to the most important contribution of late years to the scientific study of mythology — that of Gruppe {Die griechische Kulte und Mythen) — not only can we trace back no myth to pro- ethnic times, but we are actually justified in asserting that the primitive Aryans had absolutely no conception of gods, spirits, or the supernatural in any form. The utmost we need allow is that the Aryans practised certain " manipulations", by which I suppose Gruppe to mean practices coming under the head of sympathetic magic and designed to produce practical results, but not neces- sarily implying any conscious distinction between natural and supernatural means.

The negative argument on which Gruppe relies is the entire absence (according to him) of any philological evidence to show- that the pro-ethnic Aryans had attained to a belief in the super- natural. His positive arguments are yet to come, in his second volume ; but he promises to show that the resemblances between the myths, etc., of the various Aryan peoples can be amply accounted for by the hypothesis of borrowing in ethnic if not in historic times ; and he also undertakes to demonstrate that the centre from which these myths and cults spread was non-Aryan. According to Gruppe, therefore, it is useless to look to Aryan mythology for any evidence as to the situation of the original home, for the simple and satisfactory reason that the pro-ethnic Aryans, if they ever existed, had no myths.

It is, however, impossible to admit that Gruppe is right in his

Jevons. — European or Asiatic Origin of the Aryans. 329

very sweeping assertion that philology can produce no evidence to show that the Aryans, while yet in their original home, had any conception of the supernatural. After exercising the greatest scepticism in dealing with the comparative philology of com- parative mythologists (which is not by any means the same thing as the comparative philology of comparative philologists), we must admit that the pro-ethnic Aryans possessed a word from which the Latin deus (as well as words in Sanskrit, Lithuanian, Old Irish, and Old Norse) is descended, and which was applied to some kind of supernatural being. There was also a word for " offering " (Zend speiita, Lith. szweiltas, Old Slavonic svetu., Goth, hunsi, A. S. hiisel. Old Norse hi'isl) ; and, further, a word for "sky {Zeus, Jupiter, Tiu, dyaus), which connoted not merely the expanse over- head, but also a spirit or god. Unfortunately these philological equations do not carry us very far, and comparative mythologists who adhere faithfully to the admirable law laid down by Professor Sayce will find it impossible at present to ascribe any known myth to pro-ethnic Aryan times. Professor Sayce's law, laid down in his Comparative Philology, is that we may not identify a myth belong- ing to one nation with a myth belonging to another, unless the names of the persons in the myth can also be identified by a strict application of the canons of comparative philology.

It is true that there are some comparative mythologists, and those distinguished, who do not observe Professor Sayce's law, who are content with philological equations which are not philologi- cally satisfactory, or even dispense with them altogether if the myths to be compared bear what in their opinion is sufficient re- semblance to each other, or can be interpreted as different mytho- logical renderings of the same natural phenomena. It would be disrespectful to this school of mythologists to pass them over in entire silence, so I will briefly state the position of the most dis- tinguished man amongst them — E. H. Meyer.

The existence of three successive stages in the history of primi- tive culture — hunting, pastoral life, and agricultural life — has long been accepted as demonstrated ; and Meyer distinguishes three corresponding stages in the history of mythology. The first is that of ancestor-worship ; the second that in which the belief in ghosts expands into a belief in spirits — wind-spirits, thunder-spirits, rain- spirits, for instance ; the third that in which individualised gods of

330 Institution and Custom Section.

light are developed. Roughly, the three stages in the history of mythology coincide with the three stages in the history of culture. Actually, the law of continuity holds here as elsewhere, and spirits of light begin to appear even in the second stage. Applying this system of chronology to the history of the Aryans, Meyer holds that the third stage, the period of fixed agricultural life and of belief in individualised gods of light, was only reached by the Aryans in ethnic times — in times when they had already formed themselves into those groups in which they are known to history. The pro-ethnic Aryans, on the other hand, were in the period of pastoral life, and believed mainly in the spirits of the storm, in wind and weather demons.

It is unnecessary for me to dwell upon the fact that, in order to recover even one of these storm-myths, Meyer has to resort to a philological equation {KevTaupo<; — Sans, gandharoa) which pro- fessed philologists will not accept. For the present purpose there are two points in the theory to mark. They are (i) that all the myths about individual gods — Zeus, Apollo, Demeter, Posidon, etc. — are at once swept away as post-ethnic ; (2) that the fragments of mythology which remain, though they fill two volumes (Indo- germanische Mytheti, Berlin, 1883 and 1887), are such as by their very nature are incapable of throwing any light on the vexed question of the original Aryan home ; for these myths may have originated at any point on the earth's surface which is exposed to wind and weather. Indeed, we find that, whereas in the first volume these myths originated in " the ancient home in the interior of Asia (p. 222), in the second volume they were created in " an original Aryan home which we may assume to have been in the interior of Russia" (p. 687).

There remains one other school of mythologists — those who place the origin of mythology in savage or at least uncultured thought, and who seek its explanation where they find its origin. It is, however, unlikely that any member of this school will promise that mythology shall help us to discover the original Aryan home, for the essence of this mode of interpreting mythology is that savage or uncultured minds employ the same analogies to explain the same problems, no matter what the latitude and longitude in which the myth-maker dwells.

It seems therefore, on the whole, impossible, at any rate at present,

Jevons. — European or Asiatic Origin of the Aryans. 331

to derive from the contents of myths any such information about the situation of the original Aryan home as we obtain, or have thought that we obtained, from the vocabulary of the original Aryan language. The pro-ethnic Aryans may have had no myths what- ever, as Gruppe argues ; or they may have had myths not to be distinguished from those of other peoples in the same savage or un- cultured stage of mental evolution ; or they may have had myths of their own indeed, but those, wind and weather myths, which may have been framed in any part of the habitable world; or they may have anticipated Professor Max Miiller and Sir George Cox in the composition of solar myths and philological equations, which do not lend themselves to verification by the defective methods of nineteenth-century science.

Are, then, the resources of comparative philology as a guide exhausted ? I do not think so. The philologist not unfrequently finds an Aryan people in possession of words which he can show, with scientific certainty, to have been borrowed by the people pos- sessing them from some other Aryan or from some non-Aryan people ; and the linguistic palaeontologist concludes, not without reason, that the things, of which these words are the names, have been borrowed as well as and along with the words themselves. Borrowing implies, as a rule, contact between the two parties to the loan ; and, if we know the local habitation of one of the two, we can infer approximately the situation of the other. If, there- fore, we can point to any items of Folk-lore which were borrowed or lent by the pro-ethnic Aryans to or from any other people, and if we can determine the geographical situation of that people, we shall then be able thereby to draw a circle, more or less wide, within the area of which the pro-ethnic Aryans must at some time or other have dwelt. For instance — to draw again on our guide. Comparative Philology, for an illustration — Johannes Schmidt, at the Eighth International Congressof Orientalists, held at Stockholm, endeavoured to show that the numerals of the various Aryan peoples, and consequently of the pro-ethnic Aryans, show evident signs of having been influenced by the sexagesimal notation of Babylon — from which fact, if it is a fact, we must conclude that the primitive Aryans dwelt within the range of Babylonian influ- ence, i.e., in Asia. Now, what Philology can do. Folk-lore also can do — or possibly even undo.

332 Institution and Custom. Section.

But I must confess that I do not expect mythology to render us much more service by employing this method of research than she can do by employing the method described at the beginning of this paper. In the first place, there are the doubts already men- tioned as to whether the Aryans had any myths, or any that we can discover, or that would be any use for determining the Aryan home if we could discover them. In the next place, the compara- tive philologist, in dealing with loan-words, treads on firmer and safer ground than the comparative mythologist can ever hope to feel under his feet in dealing with loan-myths. Grimm's law affords the philologist a means for distinguishing between words borrowed and words inherited from primeval Aryan times, which is as scien- tific and as certain as any test on which the chemist relies for ascertaining the presence or absence of any given substance. The mythologist, on the other hand, has no means of distinguishing simply and conclusively between native and borrowed myths. Nor can philology render the mythologist much assistance in this case : we might, perhaps, adapt the principle of Professor Sayce's law already quoted, and lay it down that mythical figures whose names can be shown by philology to be borrowed are themselves borrowed, but the gains to be derived from the application of this principle are very small. The name Adonis, for instance, may be a loan- word from the Semitic Adonai, but the tree-spirit with whom the Greeks identified him may have been a genuine Aryan, able to trace his pedigree back to pro-ethnic times. Again, Zeus has a name which is pure Aryan and certainly pro-ethnic, but all sorts of post-ethnic and perhaps even non-Aryan myths may have been grafted on to his worship in historic times. To these considera- tions add the fact that the etymology of proper names is the despair of the scientific philologist, and you have, I think, good reason to doubt whether even by the aid of Comparative Philology we can get a scientific test whereby to distinguish native from borrowed myths.

Still, some myths are borrowed. It is safe to say all students of mythology are agreed on that point. And it is also safe not to try to specify the myths which all mythologists agree are borrowed. Confining myself within the limits of safety thus indicated, I think I am justified in saying that even those who take a more hopeful view than I venture to take of the information to be derived from

Jevons. — Eu7'opean or Asiatic Origin of the Aryans. 333

the borrowing theory as applied to mythology — nay, even those who believe that all myths have been borrowed from one single centre of diffusion — must admit that the evidence of mythology, so far as it goes, and negative though it is, forbids us to place the original Aryan home within range of the influence of any Semitic nation. Whatever the nature and amount of the influence we believe to have been exercised by the Semitic East upon Greek mythology — whether relatively insignificant and post-Homeric in date, or pre-Homeric and all-pervading ; whatever the channels and means by which it reached the Greeks — whether through the agency of the trading Phoenicians, or by direct contact in Asia Minor ; nay, even if we assume that myths and cults were trans- mitted from a Semitic centre through one Aryan people to another until they reached the dwellers on the Baltic in one direction and the inhabitants of the valley of the Ganges in the other — still the fact remains that the Aryan peoples were already in the abodes which history knows them as occupying ; it is only in ethnic times that the Aryans come under Semitic influence ; in pro-ethnic times, therefore, they must have been outside its range ; in their original home the Aryans must have been remote from communication, direct or indirect, with any Semitic people. If they had lived within such easy reach of Babylon that their system of numerals took an impress from the sexagesimal Baby- lonian notation, of which traces can even now be discovered, their myths and their cults ought also to have been similarly affected. But if we wish to find an upholder of the theme that the pro-ethnic Aryans borrowed myths from the pro-ethnic Semites, we must turn to the pages of the Revue Germanique of thirty years ago, when Frederic Baudry cited the sacred trees of Semitic and of Aryan mythology as evidence " of pre-historic communi- cation between the Semites and the Aryans, taking us back to the most remote ages, before the respective languages and grammars were fixed" {Revue Germanique, xiv, 385). Thirty years is such a long time in the history of the science of mythology that it seems necessary to apologise for going so far back, and to explain that the argument, which has since been used by F. Lenormant {Origine de I'Histoire, vol. i, c. ix) as an indication of the common origin of Semites and Aryans, has of late apparently gained in strength, partly owing to the discoveries made by

334 Institution and Ctcstom Section.

students of cuneiform texts, partly to that study of symbols which may perhaps conveniently be called Comparative Symbology — if I may coin a word on the analogy of " idolatry.

The sacred trees referred to are the cosmic tree, such as the ash, Yggdrasil of the Edda ; the tree of knowlege of good and evil of Genesis ; and the tree of life, of which had Adam been allowed to eat he would have lived for ever (Genesis iii, 22-24). In the first place, let it be conceded that if and so far as a myth can be proved to belong to pro-ethnic times because it is common to all or most Aryan peoples, the myth of the cosmic tree, at least, is a pro-ethnic Aryan myth. The cosmic tree is found not only in Scandinavian mythology, but amongst the Russians, the Greeks, the Persians, and the Hindoos. Accord- ing to the Rig Veda (x, 81-4), it is the tree out of which the heaven and the earth were fashioned, and under its branches sits Yama, the king of the dead {ib., x, 135). Amongst the Hindoos the cosmic tree is indistinguishable from the tree of knowledge and the tree of life ; it is the tree of knowledge because on its summit is heard Vac, the celestial voice which reveals the wll of the gods ; and it is the tree of life because from its leaves drops the soma, or amrita, which makes immortal. This tree is guarded in the Vedas by the monsters called Gandharvas ; and its pos- session is disputed by the devas and the asouras. Originally the gods were not immortal, but Indra procured them immortality by obtaining amrita from the asouras, in whose sole possession it then was. The sacred tree of the Persians has for its name the word which is phonetically identical with the Sanskrit soma, that is haoma ; and this haoma tree, which is guarded by Sl gandhrawa, gives to those who eat of it at once knowledge and everlasting life {Yas7ia, ch. 9 and 10). The Greeks have the tree of knowledge in the talking oak of Dodona, and another sacred tree in that which bore the golden apples of the Hesperides, and was guarded by a dragon. The Celts also, according to Pro- fessor Rhys, had a tree of knowledge in their mythology {Celtic Heathendom, 557)-

In the next place, the Semites also had their sacred trees. The cosmic tree, situated in the centre of the world and having its root in the liquid abyss, is mentioned in a bilingual hymn from Eridon (Sayce: Religion of the Aticient Babylonians, 238), and is

Jevons. — European or Asiatic Origin of the Aryans. 335

referred to in a text relating one of the exploits of Isdubar or Gilgames, who, like Hercules, goes to the gates of the ocean to gather a marvellous fruit of crystal from this tree, which has nymphs to guard it (G. W. Mansell : Un Episode de I' Epopee Chal- deenne in the Gazette Arch'eologique of 1879). As for the Semitic tree of life, in the same way that the soma tree is guarded by gandharvas, so it is guarded by cherubim, which appear to have been monsters with the bodies of bulls, wings, and human heads (keroub =:\>\i\\, Lenormant: Orig. de I' Hist., i, 112, and of. Parrot et Chipiez : Hist, de I'Art dans rA?iiiq., iv, 305).

These resemblances between the Aryan and the Semitic myths seem close enough to demand the hypothesis that they were bor- rowed; and the pro-ethnic character of the Aryan cosmical tree seems to throw the borrowing back into pro-ethnic times. But in the first place, as is pointed out by the Count Goblet d'Alviella, the Professor of the History .of Religions in the University of Brussels, when he is summing up the evidence above given (in La Migra- tion des Symboles, Paris, 1891), the idea of likening the universe to a tree, of which the overhanging sky is the branches, and the stars that gem the heaven are the gold or crystal fruit, is an analogy which more than one primitive people might hit upon to explain the nature of the heaven above and the earth beneath, and their relations to each other. At any rate, the New Zealanders hold that the heaven and the earth were once united, and that they were separated by a sacred tree, the Father of the Forest (A. Rdville: Religions des Peuples non civilises, ii, 28); and the Mbo- cobis of Paraguay live in the faith that death is but climbing the tree which connects the heaven with the earth.

In the next place, if and when the Aryans and the Semites had independently reached the notion of a sacred tree, they might then, when they met in ethnic times, borrow one from the other any details in the treatment of the tree wherein they differed from each other. And it is at this point that the evidence of Compara- tive Symbology, as collected and interpreted by the Count Goblet d'Alviella, comes in. On one plate he gives a collection of figures of the sacred tree, having (one on each side of it) two monsters, who both face the tree, and consequently face each other. The resemblance of these figures to each other is such as can only be accounted for by the theory of borrowing; and the

336 Institution and Custom Section.

objects from which these figures are taken are an Assyrian bas- relief, a Persian cylinder, a Persian vase found on the coast of the White Sea, a Phoenician vase, a capital from the temple of Athenae at Priene, an archaic vase from Athens, a bas-relief from Bharhut, and tapestry from Tanjore. It is further interesting to note that the Phoenicians sometimes substituted a column for the tree between the pair of monsters : hence the decoration from which the so-called Lion Gate of Mycens gets its name. This by the way. The tree in these figures may be the tree of life or the tree of knowledge, or both. It is, however, the tree of life alone which appears in a series of figures given by the Count d'Alviella on another plate. In these figures the place of the pair of monsters is taken by a couple of human beings; and the series includes objects from Assyria, Chaldsea, Phoenicia, Lycia, Persia, India, Japan, Java, and, finally, Mexico.

The evidence of Comparative Symbology, therefore, places it beyond doubt that some Aryan nations borrowed in ethnic times from the Semites, for it is difficult to believe that the symbols travelled from one nation to another without carrying with them some of the myth which they were designed to represent. And as for those points of resemblance which are pro-ethnic, they can be accounted for on the theory of independent origin. Thus this attempt to prove by the aid of mythology that the pro-ethnic Aryans lived within the sphere of Semitic influence breaks down, and we have reached one conclusion, which is indeed negative, but which I venture to say will not soon be disturbed, viz., that the original Aryan home is not to be looked for in Asia Minor, or in any part of Asia in easy communication with it. This negative conclusion we have reached by the aid of Mythology. For positive conclusions, however, we must turn to some other branch of Folk- lore. The greater the ease with which we believe myths to be transmissible, the wider the area over which we conceive that they can readily be diffused, the less the confidence with which we can infer that nations possessing myths in common must have been at some period of their history in actual contact with each other. If myths are like those seeds of plants which can be conveyed from one continent to another by the birds of the air, or even by the winds of heaven, it is not much that we can infer from the joint possession of the same myth by different peoples. To prove

JeVONS. — European or Asiatic Origin of the Aryans. 33J7

actual contact between two peoples we require proof that one has borrowed from the other something less portable, less readily transmissible, than myths. M'e require something which takes longer to impart and more time to assimilate than a story which can be communicated and appropriated in half-an-hour. And we require something which is not so evanescent, but leaves some permanent mark behind it. This last requirement is important: if A and B are two peoples not now living in contact with each other, but suspected once to have been neighbours, though at the present time they are separated by people C ; then the fact that A and B have certain myths in common, which are not shared by C, goes very little way towards proving that A and B were once neigh- bours, for it may very well happen that C always lived between A and B, received the myths originally from A, and, having trans- mitted them to B, has allowed them to drop and disappear altogether from its own repertory. A\'e require, therefore, some- thing less liable to vanish entirely, something which leaves deeper marks on national life, if we are to be able to infer that A and B once were neighbours because they jointly share it, and C does not. What we require, in fine, is some custom common to the two peoples.

If, then, Custom, rather than Myth, is to be our guide, where are we to look for a non-Aryan people with whom the pro-ethnic Aryans may have lived in contact, and yet have been outside the sphere of Semitic influence ? and what customs are so intimately interwoven with the life of the individual and of the community, so persistent and so well-marked that we can safely trust to their guidance ? The right answer to these questions has been given, I think, by Von Schroeder in his work on the Marriage Customs of the Esthonians {Die Hochzeitsbrduche der Esten, Berlin, 1888). It is to the Finnic-Ugrian peoples and their marriage customs that we must look. If contact between the pro-ethnic Aryans and the Finnic-Ugrians can be shown to be probable, Folk-lore will not indeed have determined the controversy as to the situation of the original Aryan home definitely in favour of the European hypo- thesis, for the original home of the Finnic-Ugrians has not yet been decisively proved to have been in Europe ; but the Aryan home will have been taken well northwards, and the European hypothesis will thereby be benefitted more than the Asiatic.


338 Institution and Custom Section.

And now to examine the testimony of the marriage customs of the Finnish-Ugrians. To begin with, I do not close my eyes to the difficult and treacherous nature of the ground that is to be traversed. I have not under-estimated the difficulty which the mythologist has in distinguishing borrowed from native myths, and I do not propose to under-estimate the similar difficulty of the Folk-lorist in deciding whether a given custom is borrowed or native. Any examination of Aryan and Finnic-Ugrian marriage customs for the purpose of this paper must prove two things : first, that the customs in question are loans ; next, that the loans were effected in pro-ethnic, not in historic times. And each of these points is attended with its own difficulties and dangers. The difficulty of proving that the customs are loans is not peculiar to this investigation, but attends every application of the borrowing theory, and I do not pretend that it is possible to do more than strike a balance of probabilities. For instance, it would be merely wanton to regard the Finnish-Ugrian practice of obtaining wi\es by capture or purchase as a loan custom : the probabiUties in this case do not require weighing, they are all on one side. Nor, when we proceed to customs which are obviously survivals from a time when marriage by capture was the only form practised, do the probabilities need to be weighed. Thus, though amongst various Aryan and Finnic-Ugrian peoples it is the custom, when the bridegroom comes to claim his bride, to bar the door against him, or to deny that his bride is there, or for the bride to hide herself, we may safely set aside this custom as having naturally and independently survived amongst those peoples with whom it occurs. Again, amongst the Esthonians, the Finns, the Wotjaks, and Mordwins, the bride must make extravagant lamentation on leaving her parents' home ; while the same custom was en- forced amongst the ancient Romans, prevails in the Oberpfalz and in Bohemia to-da)', and was part of the official ceremony of marriage as practised amongst the ancient Hindoos. But it is so easy to suppose that these various peoples independently converted into con^■ention what was in its origin natural, that we instinctively dismiss the notion of a loan as gratuitous, just as we see nothing that calls for the borrowing hypothesis in the fact that Aryans and Finnish-Ugrians alike were in the habit of celebrating weddings with music and dancing.

Jevons. — European or Asiatic Origin of the Aryans. 339

Again, when we find that the bride is expected both by Aryans and Finnic-Ugrians to run away from the bridegroom to her parents' home at some stage of the wedding ceremonies, we may perhaps be in doubt whether to consider this a survival from marriage by capture or to compare it with the extravagant lamen- tation just referred to ; but we cannot be wrong in refusing to regard the custom as borrowed.

Nor can any one, who properly appreciates the extent to which primitive man relies on Sympathetic Magic, be at a loss what to think when he finds that amongst the Esthonians, the Finns, and the Mordwins, it is the custom to pour some kind of grain over the head of the bride when first she arrives at her new home. This custom at once ranges itself with those collected by Mann- hardt {Mythologische Forschungen, p. 351, " Kind und Korn") from Aryan peoples, and shown by him to have been pro-ethnic. The object of the practice is to ensure the fertility of the bride, and is a piece of Sympathetic Magic which we may much more easily suppose to have originated independently amongst two primitive peoples than to have been borrowed by one from the other. The same object is even more plain in the case of a ceremony of the Esthonians, Finns, and Mordwins, the ancient Hindoos, the Servians, the Albanians, in Corsica and in modern Rome ; for a child, a boy, is placed on the lap of the bride when she comes to her new home ; and to set the matter beyond all doubt the Kauflkasutra in India provides a sentence to be uttered on the occasion : " May it be thy lot to have so excellent a son", while the Esthonians explicitly say the ceremony ensures a large family of boys, and the phrase usual amongst Armenian women (see Miss Garnett's Women of Turkey and tlieir Folli-lore, p. 239), " May you be a happy mother", is equally clear.

Again, the -belief is so prevalent amongst primitive races that peculiar dangers attend on those about to enter the estate of matrimony, that the use of exorcism on the occasion by both Aryans and Finnish-Ugrians does not call for the borrowing hypothesis to explain it. So, too, all primitive peoples believe that the waxing and waning of the moon exercise a sympathetic influence on sub-lunar objects; and from this premiss the Finnish- Ugrians and the Aryans were capable of independently drawing the conclusion that weddings should take place on a waxing moon.

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340 institution and Custom Section.

In fine, the only rule that one can la)- down for distinguishing between what is borrowed and what is native is never to admit that a thing is borrowed as long as any other explanation is possible — and even then to be doubtful, for in the first place some other xplanation may turn up after all, and in the next place the co- incidence may be merely casual. For instance, the suitor may not himself deal with the father of the maiden he wishes to marry, but must employ a go-between, amongst the Hindoos, the Germans ancient and modern, the Poles, the Servians, Wends, Lithuanians, Roumanians, in Sardinia, France, Spain, amongst the Esthonians, Finns, Lapps, Hungarians, Wotjaks, and other Finnic-Ugrian peoples. But I should not give much greater weight to this agreement as proving contact and borrowing than I do to the fact that a go-between is indispensable in China also. The coincidence between the Chinese and Aryan customs is casual, and so nia)- be that between the Aryan and Finnic-Ugrian.

A curious custom of lifting the bride out of the waggon in which she is driven from her old home to her new, and setting her down on a hide (or mat, or cloth, or piece of clothing), prevails amongst the Esthonians, the Mokscha-Mordwins, and the Tschuwasch, as it also prevailed amongst the Hindoos (by whom the sitting on the hide was regarded as ensuring prosperity, and also as a means of exorcism — in which the Esthonians again agree with the Hindoos). Amongst the Northern Frisians in Sylt, in Siebenbiirgen, amongst the Servians and the modern Greeks, the lifting of the bride sur- vives as an essential part of the ceremony, but not the sitting on the hide. And to the ancient Romans both customs were known, but they were quite separate from each other ; and since we find that it was the duty of the Roman bride, as instructed by the promilm, to struggle on approaching the bridegroom's house in such a way as to render it necessary that she should be lifted over the threshold, we may agree with Rossbach {Eont. Ehe, p. 359-361) that in this ceremony we have a survival from marriage by capture ; and thus we are relieved from the temptation of regarding this custom as borrowed. The placing of the bride on the hide of a cow (amongst the Hindoos), or on the fleece, />etHs laiiafa, of a sheep (amongst the Romans), does not seem deducible from any principle uniformly acted on by primitive man, and may perhaps really be a loan. If it is a loan, we may

Jevons, — European or Asiatic Origin of the Aryans. 341

safely regard it as one made in pre-historic times, for it seems to have descended to the Estiionians, the Mordwins, and Tschuwasch from the pro-ethnic Finnic-Ugrians, and to the Hindoos, the Romans, the Teutons, the modern Greeks, and the Servians from pro-ethnic Aryan times.

This brings us to the peculiar difficulty of this investigation, that is, the difficulty of distinguishing pro-ethnic loans from loans effected in ethnic and historic times. How great the difficulty is becomes apparent when we reflect that on the evidence of language it is certain that one Finnish-Ugrian people, the Esthonian was for a time actively engaged in assimilating the culture of, and borrowing words from, the Goths at one time, while at another and later period, on the same evidence, the Esthonians were probably influenced by Lithuanian tribes. Eastern members of the Finnic-Ugrian family again have come into not unfertile contact with the Slavs, and particularly with the Russians, while western members, and especially the Esthonians at a still later period and down to the present day, have had continual relations with the Swedes. Finally, in historic times Teutons invaded the shores of the Baltic, bringing to the Esthonians a new religion and a new culture.

In these circumstances it seems perfectly safe to conclude, if the Esthonians are the only Finnish-Ugrian people who possess a certain custom, and if that custom is found amongst any of the Aryan peoples with whom the Esthonians have been in contact, that the Esthonians have borrowed the custom in ethnic times. For instance, amongst the Esthonians it is necessary that the newly married pair should jointly eat a piece of bread on return- ing from church ; and the same custom of jointly eating (and jointly drinking) as a formal part of the marriage ceremony was practised by the ancient Hindoos, the Macedonians, Athenians (and still by the modern Greeks and Albanians), by the ancient Teutons, the Norsemen, the Bohemian Slavs, in Brittany, in the French Jura, and by the heathen Lithuanians. The probable in- ference from these facts seems to be that the custom is a genuine Aryan custom, and has been borrowed by the Esthonians from the Lithuanians.

One of the first things that a newly married pair of Esthonians do is to see which can first tread on the other's foot — victory in

342 Institution and Custom Section.

this ensuring permanent mastery. The same belief and practice holds amongst the Germans and the Letts, from either of whom the Esthonians may have borrowed it. The custom of placing the bridegroom's hat or cap on the head of the bride is common to the Esthonians, Teutons, and Slavs, and may safely be regarded as not a pro-ethnic loan. Again, the practice of substituting an old woman, in disguise, for the bride when the groom comes to take her to the church is found in many places in Germany, amongst the Poles, the Wends, the Winds, the Servians, the Roumanians, the Swiss, the French, the Slavs, and if Usener {Rhein. Museum, XXX, 183) is correct in his interpretation of a passage of Ovid {Fasti, iii, 677), also amongst the ancient Romans. The practice is therefore probably of great antiquity amongst Aryan peoples, but there is no need to resort to the hypothesis that the Finnic- Ugrians borrowed it from the Aryans in pre-historic times, for the Swedes have the custom and may have lent it to their neighbours, the Esthonians, in historic times. In the same way, the belief that from the moment they enter the church until they have been married and are safely in their waggon the pair must keep tight hold of hands and close by each other's side for fear the Devil should get between them, is confined to the Esthonians and the Germans, and is, therefore, to be treated as a loan in historic times.

Thus far I have given instances in which I have assumed that the borrowing has been on the part of the Finnic-Ugrians ; but it is not impossible that there has been exchange as well as borrow- ing. For instance, the Finns and the Esthonians have a custom that the bride that is to be shall during the interval between betrothal and marriage go and beg gifts from her acquaintance (particularly wool). The Swedes and the ^^'ends also have the custom, but may be assumed to have borrowed it.

Though, however, it seems reasonable, when a custom is common and peculiar to two neighbouring peoples, to assume in the first instance that one of the two has borrowed from the other, the case seems to be somewhat different when the two peoples to whom the custom is common and peculiar are not neighbours, but are sepa- rated by vast tracts of space and long ages of time. For instance, amongst the ancient Hindoos it was an essential part of the ritual of betrothal, and it is prescribed in all the Griliyasutras, that the bride should place her foot upon a certain stone, while a verse was

Jevons. — European or Asiatic Origin of the Aryans. 343

recited praying that slie miglit tread down lier enemies in the same way that she trod this stone beneath her foot. Amongst the Esthonians also it is the custom for the bride to place her foot upon a stone, to give her a stout heart. It is indeed possible that in time long past this custom spread from India westwards till it reached the remote Esthonians, and that each of the nations which in turn received it from an eastern neighbour cultivated it long enough to be able to transmit it to the nation on its western con- fines ; and then, having discharged its function in the history of culture, proceeded to lose the custom so effectually that no trace can now be found of its former existence. And if it were a myth or a fairy-tale that was in question, it would scarcely be proper to say that such a thing was improbable. But when it is a custom that we have to do with, I think the probability of such a complica- ted hypothesis is much diminished. \\'e do know that a custom may be handed down for many generations and many centuries, but that customs can travel from one country to another country far distant yet remains to be proved. As compared with travelling over the earth's surface, transmission from one generation to another seems to me to be for Custom the line of much lesser resistance. Be this as it may, if we are to assume that a custom can travel over the various nations of two continents and leave no more permanent impression than the wind leaves on the sea in its passage over it, we shall have to consider the "cake of custom" to be of much more fluid consistency than Bagehot thought it.

A more plausible explanation of the resemblance between the Esthonian and the Hindoo customs — for those who have an a priori objection to resorting to the theory of pro-ethnic loans — would be to say that the Esthonians borrowed the Aryan custom from the Goths : and this suggestion cannot be rebutted, for though we do not know that the Aryan custom survived amongst the Goths when they came in contact with the Esthonians, neither can we prove that it did not. All that can be done is to point to certain other customs which may equally well have been borrowed by the Esthonians from some of the various Aryan peoples with whom they came in contact at different periods of their history — only these customs are found amongst other Finnish-Ugrian peoples who did not come in contact with these Aryan peoples. For instance, it is the custom amongst the Esthonians to break

344 Institution and Custom Section.

pottery at a wedding to bring luck, and this custom not only pre- vails in Italy, but is common throughout Germany ("Polterabend"); and it would be natural to suppose the Esthonians borrowed it from the Teutons, but the supposition would not account for the fact that the custom is also known to the Ostiaks, who have never been under Teutonic influence. Here, then, I think we have a case in which we may reasonably claim that the custom goes back to pro-ethnic Finnish-Ugrian times, from which it has descended to the Esthonians on the one hand, and to the Ostiaks on the other. It would, however, be foolish to ignore the fact that this is not the only conceivable way in which it is possible to account for the joint possession of the custom by these two branches of the Finnish-Ugrian race. It may be said that if the custom of breaking pottery goes back to pro-ethnic Aryan times (as, of course, it must if it was lent by the primitive Aryans to the pro- ethnic Finnish-Ugrians, or vice versa), are we not to believe that it descended to all the Aryan nations, and therefore to the Russians, with whom the Ostiaks have come in contact ? This is too serious and sinister an attack to be ignored ; for the various Finnisb- Ugrian peoples have all come under the influence of some Aryan people or another ; and what any given branch of the Finnish- Ugrian family has not learnt from one, it certainly may have learnt from another Aryan people. It is no use arguing that the Estho- nians did not borrow from the Teutons or the Lithuanians, on the ground that the Wotjaks or the Mordwins, who have the same custom, could not possibly have borrowed it from the Teutons or Lithuanians, if the Wotjaks could have borrowed it from the Russians. Take, for instance, the custom according to which unmarried women wear their hair unconfined, and married women wear a cap : it is useless to argue that the Esthonians and the Finns did not borrow the custom from the Teutons or the Lithu- anians, on the ground that the Mordwins and the Wotjaks, who did not come in contact with the Teutons or Lithuanians, also possess it ; for the Russians have the custom, and the Mordwins and the Wotjaks may have borrowed it from them.

Now, this objection would be absolutely fatal to all attempts to prove any custom to go back to pro-ethnic Finnish-Ugrian times which could conceivably have been borrowed from an Aryan people in ethnic times, provided it so happened that in every case

J EVONS. — European or Asiatic Origin of the A ryans. 345

the Aryan people from whom the custom was supposed to have been borrowed really had the custom to lend. But this proviso is by no means fulfilled. Thus Esthonian brides on the morning after the wedding are taken to make offerings to the water-spirit, and they, indeed, may have borrowed the rite from the Teutons, amongst whom a corresponding custom prevailed. But the Mokscha-Mordwins, who also have the custom, could hardly have borrowed it from the Hindoos, the Modern Greeks, the Sardinians, the Servians, or the Albanians, who are the other Aryan peoples who preserve the custom. Further, it is essential to observe that the Esthonian custom most closely resembles not that of the Teutons, with whom alone of these Aryan peoples they came in contact, but that of the Hindoos, by whom they certainly have not been influenced. Amongst the Teutons, the bride simply stepped over a vessel of water, whereas amongst the Esthonians she throws offerings into the spring (or a vessel of water), over- turns a vessel of water in the house, and sprinkles the bride- groom with water ; whilst amongst the Hindoos offerings were cast into a water-vessel, the bride sprinkles the court of the new house with water by way of exorcism, and also sprinkles the bridegroom.

Or, again, take the Esthonian custom of leading the bride thrice round a fire, and casting offerings into it. The Esthonians might have borrowed it from the Teutons, but the Wotjaks could hardly have learnt it from the ancient Hindoos, Romans, or Prussians. And did Esthonian brides learn the custom of form- ally feeding the fire, on their first introduction to it, from the ancient Hindoos, the ancient Greeks, or the Servians ?

These are customs which the Mordwins and Wotjaks could not have borrowed from the Russians, for we have no evidence that the Russians possess them ; and I submit that the easier hypothesis is to suppose that these customs were inherited by the Esthonians, Mordwins, and Wotjaks respectively from their joint forefathers. I am conscious, however, that there are two objections possible, to which I have already alluded. In the first place, it may be said that the customs may exist or have existed amongst the Russians, though not recorded ; next, that we must take into account the probability that the Russians inhe- rited these customs from their pro-ethnic Aryan forefathers just

346 Institution and Custom Section.

as the Hindoos, Greeks, Teutons, and others did. If this proba- bility is considerable, then to insist on the fact that there is no positive evidence to show the existence of the custom amongst the Russians is simply to trade on our ignorance. It becomes, therefore, essential to endeavour to estimate the amount of this probability. Are we to lay it down as an invariable rule, ad- mitting of no possible exceptions, that every pro-ethnic custom must necessarily have been inherited and preserved by every Aryan nation until and long after it had settled in the region which it has occupied since the dawn of history? I imagine no one would attempt to maintain such a proposition. A\'e may here again glance at Comparative Philology : so far from being a rule, it is rather the exception to find that words, which un- doubtedly occurred in the original language, ha\e left representa- tives behind in every Aryan language ; and though the life of a word is much more precarious than that of a custom, still it would be extravagant and in contradiction of observed facts to maintain that customs do not also perish. It seems to me, there- fore, we have no right to assume that a pro-ethnic custom was more likely than not to survive in any given Aryan nation simply because it was admittedly a pro-ethnic custom. On the other hand, it would be inconclusive to argue that because a nation does not now possess a custom, therefore it never did. But, avoiding these two extremes, I think we may say that the absence of a custom is a presumption rather against than for the sup- position that it once existed. Accordingly the probabilities will be rather for than against the supposition that the customs last mentioned go back to the pro-ethnic period of the Finnish- Ugrian race as well as to that of the ^Aryans. But if we once go so far as to draw this conclusion, we must go a good deal further, and claim as pro-ethnic a good many customs which in the first instance, and for fear of basing our argument upon unsafe ground, we provisionally admitted to be loans effected in historic times. If the iNIordwins inherited from their pro-ethnic forefathers the same custom that the Russians inherited from their Aryan an- cestors, it is only to be expected that the likeness between the customs of the two peoples would be sufficiently great to suggest borrowing in ethnic times. Thus the fact that the Russians possess a certain custom as well as the Mordwins or Wotjaks no

J i;\'ONS.- Eiiroprnii or Asiatic Origin of the A ryans. 347

longer constitutes a presumption that tiie Mordwins or Wotjaks borrowed it from the Russians in historic times : the borrow- ing took place in the pro-ethnic period. From this point of view I may conclude this paper with a few more customs which seem to be genuinely pro-ethnic on both sides.

It is the custom amongst the Esthonians for the bride to present the groom on the day after the wedding with a shirt made by her own hands, and the same custom holds amongst the Mordwins, the Wotjaks, and the Finns. On the other hand, the custom also went back to pro-ethnic Aryan times ; for it prevailed amongst the Hindoos, as appears from the Atharva Veda (xiv, ii, 51), amongst the Greeks (/; a-rravKia-v^pla ■^Xavh) as appears from Julius Pollux (iii, 40), in Germany, in Italy, Holland, Bohemia, amongst the Wends and the Russians.

The Esths, the Finns, the Mordwins, the Mokscha-Mordwins, and the \\'otjaks, on the one hand, agree in the possession of the practice of the bride's making gifts to the wedding company all round ; and, on the other hand, the following Aryan peoples, also have the custom : the Lithuanians, Bavarians, Servians, Russians, Wends, and Italians.

The practice of muffling the bride's head to such an extent that she can hardly breathe and cannot see or be recognised is common to the Esthonians, the Lapps, the Finns, the Mokscha- Mordwins, and the Wotjaks; and the bride's head was (or is) veiled amongst the following Aryans : the Teutons, Scandinavians, Greeks, Albanians, Romans, Roumanians, Russians, Servians, and finally the Slavs, who do it " in order that she may not know the way back to her parents' home".

Finally, the formal bedding of the pair in the presence of wit- nesses is known to the Esthonians, Finns, and Mordwins, as it also was to the Hindoos, Greeks, Romans, Teutons, Prussians, Russians, Servians, and Corsicans.



It would almost seem as if the comparative method of studying institutions were still on its trial. In other branches of study, philology, mythology, and even archfeology, there is little dispo- sition to dispute the right which this method claims towards elucidating the problems which beset the inquirer. In insti- tutions, however, there has always been a latent notion that the comparative method is not quite satisfactory, and in some quarters it is ignored altogether, while in others its efficacy is openly disputed. It would be profitless, I think, to inquire as to the causes of this objection to the comparative method when applied to the study of institutions, and so I pass on to a consi- deration of its effect upon one division of the subject which has greatly interested me, namely, agricultural institutions. I shall draw my illustrations from one particular area, namely, the British Isles, because it is only by fixing upon some definite area that one can properly test the position which \arious scholars have taken up.

I put my facts in this way: — (i) In all parts of Great Britain there exist rites, customs, and usages connected with agriculture which are obviously and admittedly not of legislative or political origin, and which present details e.\actly similar to each other in character, but differing from each other in s/ati/s. (2) That the difference in status is to be accounted for by the effects of successive con- quests. (3) That the identity in character is not to be ac- counted for by reference to manorial history, because the area of manorial institutions is not coincident with the area of these rites, customs, and usages. (4) That exact parallels to them exist in India as integral portions of village institutions. (5) That the Indian parallels carry the subject a step further than the

GoMME. — Origin of Agricultural Institutions. 349

European examples because they are stamped with the mark of difference in race-origin, one portion belonging to the Aryan people and the other to the non-Aryan.

I shall now pick out some examples, and explain from them the evidence which seems to me to prove that race-distinction is the key for the origin of these agricultural rites and usages in Europe as in India.

I have dealt with these examples at some length in my recent little book on the ^-illage community, though, I fear, very imper- fectly. But I venture to think that the opposition to my theory in some quarters is due as much to objection against the prin- ciples of the comparative method as against my particular appli- cation of them.

My first point is that to get at the survivals of the village com- munity in Britain it is not necessary to approach it through the medium of manorial history. Extremely ancient as I am inclined to think manorial history is, it is unquestionably loaded with an artificial terminology and with the chains so deftly forged by lawyers.

In the table on the next page I give an analysis of the chief features in the types of the EngUsh village community, and it will be seen that the manorial element is by no means a common factor in the series.

This clearly shows us the types marking a transition from the tribal form to the village form. In Harris we have the chief with his free tribesmen around him, connected by blood kinship, living in scattered homesteads, just like the German tribes described by Tacitus. Under this tribal community is the embryo of the village community, consisting of smaller tenantry and cottar serfs, who live together in minute villages, holding their land in common and yearly distributing the holdings by lot. In this type the tribal constitution is the real factor, and the village constitution the subordinated factor as yet wholly undeveloped, scarcely indeed discernible except by very close scrutiny.

At Kilmorie the tribal community is represented merely by the scattered homesteads. These are occupied by a joint farm- tenantry, who hold their lands upon the system of the village com- munity. Here the village constitution has gradually entered into, so to speak, the tribal constitution, and has almost absorbed it.


Institution and Ctistom Section.


Tribal Constitution.

ViLLAGB Constitution.

Land Rights.


c E


B o





'o c ^





B rt


c .2


1 1



n.r5 « c



a a;






Harris .

Tribal Village














Heisgeir. .

Tribal Village






Lauder .

Tribal Village







Tribal Manorial






Rothwell. .

Tribal Village





Tribal Municipal







Tribal Manorial




At Heisgeir and Lauder the tribal community is represented by the last link under the process of dissolution, namely, the free council of the community by which the village rights are governed, while the village community has developed to a considerable extent.

At Aston and at Malmesbury the old tribal constitution is still kept alive in a remarkable manner, and I will venture to quote from my book the account of the evolution at Aston of a tenantry from the older tribal constitution, because in this case we are actually dealing with a manor, and the evidence is unique so far as England is concerned.

It will he seen that the village organisation; the rights of assembly, the free open-air meetings, and the corporate action, incident to the manor of Aston and Cote, attach thenibelvcs to the

GOMME. — Origin of Agricultural Institutions. 351

land divisions of sixteen hides, because although these hides had grown in 1657 into a considerable tenancy, fortunately as a tenancy they kept their original unity in full force and so obstinately clung to their old system of government as to keep up by representation the once undivided holding of the hide. If the organisation of the hide had itself disappeared, it still formed the basis of the village government, the sixteen hides sending up their sixteen elected representatives.

How the tenancy grew out of the original sixteen homesteads may perhaps be conjecturally set forth. In the first plan the owners of the yard-lands succeeded to the place originally occupied by the owners of the sixteen hides. Instead of the original sixteen group-owners we have therefore sixty-four individual owners, each yard-land having remained in possession of an owner. And then at succeeding stages of this dissolution we find the yard-lands broken up, until in 1848 " some farmers of Aston have only half or even a quarter of a yard-land, while some have as many as ten or eleven yard-lands in their single occupation. Then disintegration would proceed to the other proprietary rights, which, originally appendant to the homestead only, became appendant to the person and not to the residence, and are consequently " bought and sold as separate property, by which means it results that persons resi- dent at Bampton, or even at great distance, have rights on Aston and Cote Common". And finally we lose all traces of the system, as described by Mr. Horde and as depicted by the representative character of the Sixteens, and in its place find that " there are some tenants who have rights in the common field and not in the pasture, and vice versa several occupiers have the right of pasture who do n-ot possess any portion of arable land in the common field", so that both yard-lands and hides have now disappeared, and absolute ownership of land has taken their place. Mr. Horde's MS. enables us to proceed back from modern tenancy-holding to the holding by yard-lands ; the rights of election in the yard-lands enables us to proceed back to the original holding of the sixteen hides.

At Hitchin, which is Mr. Seebohm's famous example, we meet with the manorial type. But its features are in no way peculiar. There is nothing which has not its counterpart, in more or less well-defined degree, in the other types which are not manorial.

352 institution and Custom SecttoH.

In short, the manorial framework within which it is enclosed does little more than fix the details into an immovable setting, accen- tuating some at the expense of others, legalising everything so as to bring it all under the iron sovereignty which was inaugurated by the Angevin kings.

My suggestion is that these examples are but varying types of one original. The Teutonic people, their Celtic predecessors, came to Britain with a tribal, not an agricultural, constitution. In the outlying parts of the land this tribal constitution settled down, and was only slightly affected by the economical conditions of the people they found there ; in the more thickly populated parts this tribal constitution was super-imposed upon an already existing village constitution in full vigour. We, therefore, find the tribal constitution everywhere — in almost perfect condition in the north, in \Vales, and in Ireland, in less perfect condition in Eng- land. We also find the village constitution everywhere — in almost embryo form in the north, A\'ales, and in Ireland ; in full vigour and force in England, especially in that area which Professor Rhys has identified as the constant occupation-ground of all the races who have settled in Britain.

Now the factor which is most apparent in all these cases is the singular dual constitution which I have called tribal and village. It is only when we get to such cases as Rothwell and Hitchin that almost all traces of the tribal element are lost, the village element only remaining. But inasmuch as this village element is identical in kind, if not in degree, with the village element in the other types, and inasmuch as topographically they are closely connected, we are, I contend, justified in concluding that it is derived from the same original — an original which was composed of a tribal community with a village community in serfdom under it.

This dual element should, I think, be translated into terms of ethnology by appealing to the parallel evidence of India. There the types of the village community are not, as was thought by Sir Henry Maine and others, homogeneous. There the dual element appears, the tribal community at the top of the system, the village community at the bottom of the system. But in India g, new factor is introduced by the equation of the two elements with two different races — the tribal element being Aryan, and the \-illage element non-Aryan. Race-origins are there still kept up and rigidly

GOMME. — Origin of Agricultural Institutions. 353

adhered to. They have not been crushed out, as in Europe, by political or economical activity.

But if crushed out of prominent recognition in Europe, are we, therefore, to conclude that their relics do not exist in peasant cus- tom ? My argument is that we cannot have such close parallels in India and in England without seeing that they virtually tell the same story in both countries. It would require a lot of proof to establish that customs, which in India belong now to non-Aryan aborigines and are rejected by the Aryans, are in Europe the heritage of the Aryan race.

The objections to my theory have been formulated recently by Mr. Ashley, who follows Mr. Seebohm and M. Fustel de Coulanges as an adherent of the chronological method of studying institutions. Like the old school of antiquaries, this new school of investigators into the history of institutions get back to the period of Roman history, and there stop. Mr. Ashley suggests that because Caesar describes the Celtic Britons as pastoral, that therefore agriculture in Britain must be post-Celtic. I will not stop to raise the ques- tion as to who were the tribes from which Caesar obtained his evidence. But it will suffice to point out that if Caesar is speaking of the Aryan Celts of Britain — and this much seems certain — he only proves of them what Tacitus proves of the Aryan Teutons, what the sagas prove of the Aryan Scandinavians, what the vedas prove of the Aryan Indians, what philology, in short, proves of the primi- tive Aryans generally, namely, that they were distinctly hunters and warriors and hated and despised the tillers of the soil.

It does not, in point of fact, then, help the question as to the origin of agricultural rites and usages to turn to Aryan history at all. In this emergency Roman history is appealed to. But this is just one of those cases where a small portion of the facts are squeezed in to do duty for the whole.

Both Fustel de Coulanges and Mr. Seebohm think that if a Roman origin can \)& prima facie shown for the economical side of agricul- tural institutions, that there is nothing more to be said. But they leave out of consideration a whole set of connected institutions. Readers of Mr. Frazer's Golden Bough are now in possession of facts which it would take a very long time to explain. They see that side by side with agricultural economics is an agricultural religion, of great rudeness and barbarity, of considerable com-

354 Institution and Custom Section.

plexity, and bearing the stamp of immense antiquity. The same villagers who were the observers of those rules of economics which are thought to be due to Roman origin were also observers of ritual and usages which are known to be savage in theory and practice. Must we, then, say that all this ritual and usage is Roman ? or must we go on ignoring it as an element in the argument as to origin of agricultural institutions ? One or the other of these alter- natives must, I contend, be accepted by the inquirer.

At all events, I enter, on behalf of the science of folk-lore, an earnest protest against this latter " method of research". Because the State has chosen or been compelled for political reasons to lift up peasant economics into manorial legal rules, thus forcibly divorcing this portion of peasant life from its natural associations, there is no reason why students should fix upon this arbitrary proceeding as the point to begin their examination into the origin of village agriculture. Manorial tenants pay their dues to the lord, lot out their lands in intermixed strips, cultivate in common, and perform generally all those interesting functions of village life with which Mr. Seebohm has made us all familiar. But, in close and intimate connection with these selfsame agricultural economical pro- ceedings, it is the same body of manorial tenants who perform irrational and rude customs, who carry the last sheaf of corn represented in human or animal form, who sacrifice animals to their earth deities, who carry fire round fields and crops, who, in a scarcely disguised ritual, still worship deities which there is little difficulty in recognising as the counterparts of those village god- desses of India who are worshipped and venerated by non-Aryan votaries. Christianity has not followed the lead of politics, and lifted all this portion of peasant agricultural life into something that is religious and definite. And because it remains sanc- tioned by tradition, we must, in considering origins, take it into account in conjunction with those economic practices which have been unduly emphasised in the history of village institutions. In India, primitive economics and religion go hand in hand as part of the village life of the people ; in England, primitive economics and survivals of old religions, which we call folk-lore, go hand m hand as part of the village life of the people. And it is not in the province of students to separate one from the other when they are considering the question of origin.

GOMME. — Origin of Agricultural Institutions. 355

This is practically the whole of my argument from the folk-lore point of view. But it is not the whole of the argument against the theory of the Roman origin of the village community. I cannot on this occasion re-state what this argument is, as it is set forth at some length in my book. But I should like to point out that it is in reality supported by arguments to be drawn from eth- nological facts. Mr. Ashley surrenders to my view of the question the important point that ethnological data, derived from cranio- logical investigation, fit in " very readily with the supposition that under the Celtic, and therefore under the Roman rule, the culti- vating class was largely composed of the pre-Celtic race ; and allows us to believe that the agricultural population was but little disturbed." Economically it was certainly not disturbed by the Romans. If the important art of brick-making carried on by Romans in Britain was absolutely lost after their departure ; if the agricultural implements known to and used by the Romans were never used in Britain after their departure ; if the old methods of land-surveying under the agrimensores is not to be traced in Britain as a continuing system ; if wattle and daub, rude uncar- pentered trees turned root upwards to form roofs, were the leading principles of house-architecture, it cannot be alleged that the Romans left behind any permanent marks of their economical standard upon the "little disturbed agricultural population". AVhy, then, should they be credited with the introduction of a system of lord- ship and serf-bound tenants, when both lordship and serfdom are to be traced in lands where Roman power has never penetrated, under almost exactly similar conditions to the feudal elements in Europe? If it be accepted that the early agricultural population of Britain was non-Aryan ; if we find non-Aryan agricultural rites and festivals surviving as folk-lore among the peasants of to-day ; why should it be necessary, why should it be accepted as a reason- able hypothesis, to go to the imperial and advanced economics of Rome to account for those other elements in the composition of the village community which, equally with the rites and festivals, are to be found paralleled among the non-Aryan population living under an Aryan lordship in India ? The only argument for such a process is one of expediency. It does so happen that the Roman theory 77iay account for some of the English phenomena. But, then, the Celtic and Teutonic, or Aryan theory, also accounts for

A A 2

35*^ Institution mid Custom Section.

the same English phenomena, and, what is more, it accounts for other phenomena not reckoned by the Roman theory. My pro- position is that the history of the village community in Britain is the history of the economical condition of the non-Aryan abori- gines ; that the history of the tribal community is the history of the Aryan conquerors, who appear as overlords ; and that the Romans, except as another wave of Aryan conquerors at an ad- vanced stage of civilisation, had very little to do with shaping the village institutions of Britain.


The Chairman remarked that as to the origin of village communi- ties he was surprised to see it treated so seriously. He was quite aware that Seebohm had argued the point very ingeniously in a book, but it had never been paid much attention to. He did not wish to speak with disrespect of the book, but he would very sharply divide it into two parts. The first tended to make us revise the accepted theory of the Teutonic origin and character of A-illage communities of Western Europe, and whatever the ultimate position might be, Mr. Seebohm deserved credit for having stimulated our inquiries and discussions. The specifically Roman part, however, seemed to him, as compared with the other, of not so much importance, for reasons which he shortly explained.



Introduction.— Sovereignty, Marriage, and Property, the three great institu- tions of civilised Society, and the intimate connection of their origins.

Section I. — The Origins of Sovereignty.

1. The Origins of Sovereignty the technical form in which the problem of the Origins of Civilisation presents itself to the jurist ; and those Platonic and Aristo- telian solutions of the problem which may be distinguished as the Patriarchal Theories.

2. These solutions of the problem of Sovereignty were founded on facts, but not on such adequately wide and relevant facts as Berosos, the historian of Chaldea, would have afforded, had an Aristotle lived eighty years later.

3. The Conquest Theory of Bodin of the sixteenth century ; the Social Con- tract Theories of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries ; and the Spontaneity Theories of the nineteenth century, and the objections to the latter particularly.

4. The New, which may be distinguished as the Racial, Theoi^ of the origin of Sovereignty, is founded on the ethnological, archseological, and traditional evi- dences as to the determining condition of origin both of the Chaldean and of the Egyptian Civilisation.

5. The probability that all other Sovereignties have arisen from a similar deter- mining condition, and in direct or indirect derivation from the Chaldean or the Egyptian Civilisation ; and some results of this conclusion as to the origin of Sovereignty.

Section IF. — The Origins of Marriage.

1. Mr. Westermarck's definition of Marriage is a definition rather of Mating; and a definition of Human Marriage, as distinguished from Animal Mating, pro. posed.

2. The earliest form of Human Marriage was neither the Patriarchal nor the Matriarchal, but the Paternal, a development of the Mating which prevails not only among the nearest collaterals of Man, but among the Vertebrata generally.

3. The three distinctive features of Matriarchy, and the inadequacy to their explanation both of the Sexual Promiscuity hypothesis which has been maintained for the last hundred years, and of the Sexual Aversion hypothesis now proposed by Mr. Westermarck.

4. The hypothesis now proposed is derived from the great classes of facts on which our theory of the Origin of Sovereignty is founded ; and the probability that just such features as distinguish Matriarchy would naturally arise from the settlement of White Men and their Women among Lower Races.

5. 'The five classes of facts in which the verification is to be found of the hypo- thesis now proposed as to the origin of Matriarchy.

3S8 Institution and Custom Section.

Section III. — The Origins of Property.

The question of the Origins of Property involves that of the Origins of Capital, and the general theory of these Origins.


The Executive of the Folk-lore Congress, in distributing its work into the three sections of Folk-tales, Mythology, and Institutions, has wisely recognised the interdependent and complementary character of all these subjects. A Theory, for instance, of the Origins of Mythology cannot be true unless its general principles are applicable to the problem also of the Origins of Institutions, and vice versA. And having been permitted to suggest a theory of the Origins of Mythology, founded on the later results of research, I may be permitted also to suggest a complementary theory of the Origins of Institutions. Such a theory is, in more definite terras, a Theory of the Origins of Sovereignty, of Marriage, and of Property which .were already recognised two thousand three hundred years ago, in the Platonic Dialogues on The Republic, and on Laws, and in the Treatise of Aristotle on Folitics, as the three great institutions of Civilised Society. And the more thoroughly we study the institutions of Property and of Marriage, the more clearly we see, not only that a scientific theory of either is impossible without a correlative theory of the other, but impos- sible without an antecedent theory of the institution of Sovereignty.

Section I. — The Origins of Sovereignty.

I. The problem of the origins of Sovereignty^ — the most fun- damental of the institutions of Civilised Societies — may be regarded as simply the technical form in which the more vaguely conceived problem of the origins of Civilisation presents itself to the jurist. But before stating the solution of the problem which I would suggest for verification, it seems desirable to recall the solutions given by the founders of the Science of Politics, and by

  • The use of the terms "Sovereign and "Sovereignty", as meaning what Bodin

calls Majestas and Grotius Suniina Potestas, seems to date only from the time of Louis XIV. It is used by Hobbes, Leviathan, Pt. ii, ch. xvii (1651), as cited by Holland, Jurisprudence, p. 43. And Bodin's definition of Majestas might well ■ apply to the conception by Hobbes of " Sovereignty" • " Majestas est summa in cives ac subditos legibusque soluti potestas." See below, p. 364.

Stuart-Glenn IE. — Origins of Institutions. 359

the more eminent of those who, since the Christian Dark Ages, have been their successors in this department of their encyclo- paedic labours. The Theory both of Plato^ and of Aristotle^ as to the origin of the State and of Sovereignty may be distinguished as the Patriarchal Theory. . Briefly, their theory was that the State had its origin in the enlargement somehow of a Family- group, and consequent extension of the area of Paternal Power. They assume, first, such a Family-group as that of the Kyklopes, the description of whom by Homer is quoted both by Plato and Aristotle.

" Each one gives law to his children and his wives."'

For, says Plato, " we may accept Homer's witness to the fact that there was a time when primitive societies had this form. . . . And the eldest of them was their ruler, because with them government originated in the authority of a father and mother whom, like a flock of birds, they followed, forming one troop under the patriarchal rule and sovereignty of their parents, which of all sovereignties is the most just. After this they came together in greater numbers, and increased the size of their cities, and betook themselves to husbandry, first of all, at the foot of the mountains, and made enclosures and works of defence, thus creating a single large and common habitation. Such a city was Dardania, of which Homer* speaks as "at the foot of many-fountained Ida". But there is a third form of the State, also pointed out by Homer,^ in which all other forms and conditions of polities and cities concur. Such a state was that of Ilium, which " was built in a large and fair plain, on a sort of low hill, watered by many rivers descending from Ida."s Such is a summary of Plato's Theory ; and a summary of Aristotle's will show how essentially similar it is. " The State is founded upon two relations: (i) that of male and female ; and (2) that of master and servant. From these two relations there arises, in the first place, the Household ; secondly, the Village, which is an aggregate of households ; and thirdly, the State. The parent or elder was the king of the family, and so, when families

I Laws, Bk. iii, 6go foil. Compare Republic, Bk. ii, 369 foil.

' Politics, Bk. i, 2.

" Od , ix, 114. Quoted by Aristotle also in N. Ethic, x, 9, and § 1 3.

  • Iliad, -&yi, 218. ' Ibid., 216.

>> Jowett. Dialogues of Plato, vol. .', pp. 250-2,

36o Institution and Custom Section.

were combined in the village, the patriarchal, or kingly form of government continued. The village was a larger family ; and when several villages were united, the State came into existence."^ 2. Now, it is true, as Sir Henry Maine points out,^ that this Patriarchal Theory of the origin of the State " was not founded by either Plato or Aristotle on mere conjecture. Plato expressly says that forms of society, answering to the assumed original groups, survived in his day. . . . And Aristotle expressly appeals to the actual social state of barbarians." But about a hun- dred years after the death of Plato (347 B.C.), and about eighty after the death of Aristotle (322 B.C.), there came to Athens a renowned Chaldean, not priest and magus only, but historian, who had just published in Greek a work dedicated to Antiochus II, King of Syria, on the actual origins of civilisa- tion in Chaldea, a work of which we now unfortunately possess only fragments borrowed from abridgments, but of which, as Lenormant says, " le dechiffrement des textes cuneiformes a mis en pleine lumiere la parfaite exactitude et I'importance incomparable."" And suppose that an Aristotle had been living at Athens when Berosos was its guest, and with an opportunity of perusing a complete MS. of the XaXdaixa, and questioning its author, the greatest Oriental scholar of the time, on the traditions of the antediluvian colonisation of Chaldea, and the establishment of that great Civilisation which, like that of Ancient Egypt, was already at an extraordinary height of development and organisa- tion some four thousand years before Homer. An Aristotle made acquainted with such new facts would certainly have recognised the utter inadequacy of one or two Homeric traditions, and of one or two, or even any number of barbaric survivals, as a fit basis for a theory of the origin of the State and of Civilised Society. For the facts and traditions with which the Chaldean historian would have made a later Aristotle acquainted, would have shown him what an tmbridged abyss lies between such a primitive Family as that of the Homeric Kyklopes and such Villages as those which had been assumed to give rise to the State by means

> Jowett, Politics of Aristotle, Introd,,\i. xv. Compare Congreve's edition of tlie text and notes, pp. 6-12.

^ Early Law and Custom, ch. vii, p. 196,

' In'Dnrtmher^etSiigWo, Dictionnaire des Ai!tiquiles,i. v. Chaldaei,\<. 1095. Compare Lenormant's Commeniaire des Fragments cosmogoniques de Birose.

StUART-GleNnIE. — Origins of Institutions. 361

simply of their aggregation. And he would have learned that the actual origins of Chaldea and of Egypt, the great parent States of at least the Mediterranean Political World, were of a far more complex character, and included, among their chief determining conditions, the settlement of Higher ^\'hite Races among multi- tudes of Lower Coloured and Black Races. Unremarked, how- ever, as it seems to have been, nothing appears to me more decisively to indicate the immense intellectual change that had taken place in Greece in the eighty or hundred years between the deaths of Plato and Aristotle and the visit of Berosos to Athens than the fact that his History of Chaldea exercised no influence whatever on the current Platonic and Aristotelian Theories of the Origins of Civilisation. Immensely feted was the Chaldean Stranger. But it was as a wonder-worker and a prophet, not as a scholar and an historian, that he excited the enthusiasm of the Athenians, and had a statue erected to him with a golden tongue.i

3. Such changes, indeed, had begun since the deaths of Plato and Aristotle that nearly two thousand years had to elapse — half a millennium preparing for, and nearly a millennium and a half wit- nessing, the triumph of Barbarism and Christianity — before there again arose, in the end of the sixteenth century a.c, scientific speculation on the origin of States. Since that time to the present — from Bodin to Spencer- — there has been a long line of great writers on this great subject. But I submit that it cannot be justly said that a verifiable theory of the origins of Civilisation, of the origins of States, of the origins of Sovereignty, has yet been stated. For let us briefly recall these theories, or, at least, the general classes into which they fall. First there are the Patriarchal Theories of Plato and Aristotle above stated, and which appear still to exer-

1 Pliny, Hist. Nat., vii, 37.

- The following Chronological Table may be useful :

Bodin (b. 1530, d. 1596), 7\?f/«W/;72(C, 1577 (French), ij86 (Latin).

Hooker (b. 1554, d. i6oo), Ecclesiastical Politie, 1591-3.

Grotius (b. 1583, d. 1645), De Jure Belli et Pads, 1615.

Hobbes (b. 1588, d. 1679), Leviathan, 1651.

Locke (b. 1632, d. 1704), Treatises of Government, 1690.

Spinoza (b. 1632, d. 1677), Tractatus Politicus, (1677).'.

PufFendorf (b. 1632, d. 1694), De Jure Nat. et Gent., 1672.

Montesquieu (b. 1689, d. 1755), Esprit des Lois, 1748.

Rousseau (b. 1712, d. iTji), Contrat Social, 1762.

362 Institution and Custom Section.

cise great influence.^ Secondly, there are what may be dis- tinguished as the Conquest Theories, which may be especially associated with the name of Bodin, separated from Aristotle by eighteen hundred years, but the ablest writer on the philosophy of Government and Legislation since his time.^ " Yea," he says, " reason and the very light of Nature leadeth us to believe very force and violence to have given cause and beginning to Com- monwealths. Thus, therefore, the patriarchal simplicity of Government was overthrown by Conquest, of which Nimrod seems to have been the earliest instance ; and now fathers of families once sovereign are become citizens."^ And a citizen he defines as a freeman under the supreme government of another.*

The third class consists of the Social Contract Theories. The Sophists had already taught that law originated in a bargain ; and Plato, that an agreement of men with one another neither to do nor suffer injustice was the origin of Laws and Covenants.^ But though, in modern times, Bodin had expressly said "that governments are not founded on Contract", it was by his con- temporary Hooker that the Social Contract Theory was first clearly stated. The origin of Civil Government he attributed to a " com- mon consent", given by men in a prehistoric era, " all to be ordered by some who they should agree upon."^ And for the next hundred years this Contract Theory of the origin of Sove- reignty was the dominant one, and was variously developed. It is thus stated by Grotius : " Qui se csetui alicui aggregaverant, aut

1 Prof. Fowler, for instance, thus writes (Locke, pp. 184-6): "In course of time, the Family or Tribe, by a natural process of development, would, in many cases, become greatly enlarged, or combine with other units like itself. Out of this growth or aggregation would arise, in most cases gradually and insensibly, the Nation, or State, as known in histoiy." But this " conception of the remote origin of Political Society" is just as unverified and unveriiiable — as " radically false" — as Prof. Fowler declares Locke's conception of a " Social Contract" to be.

2 See Baudrillart, Bodin et son Temps : Lerminier, Introd. a thistoire du Droit; Bluntschli, Gesch. ties Staatsrecht ; Heron, Hist, of Jurisprudence ; Hallam, Lit. of Europe, vol. ii, pp. 5 1-69.

■* Cap. vi (Hallam using KnoUes's translation).

  • " Est civis nihil aliud quam liber homo qui summa alterius potestate obli-


Repubiic, ii, 358-9. Compare Jowett. Plato, v, p. 119 : and Holland, yMn.t- prudence, p. 42, n.

^ Ecclesiastical Politie, Bk. 1, ch. a,

StuART-Glennie. — Origins of Institutions. 363

homini hominibusque subjicerant, hi aut expresse promiserant, aut ex negotii natura tacite promisisse debebant intelligi, secuturos se id quod aut csetus pars major, aut hi quibus delata potestas erat, constituissent."i In Hobbes, the next great Publicist in chronological order, we find something both of the Conquest and of the Contract Theory. For he regards the Social Contract and transference of rights to a Sovereign as arising in two ways, either by Acquisition or by Institution, according as men are made subjects by Conquest, or make themselves subjects by Con- tract. For the sake of rational explanation, Hobbes puts first the supposition of the State having been formed by voluntary Con- tract ; but he shows much less tendency than Locke to view this Contract as an actual historical fact. And in opposition to Grotius, who developed his Social Contract Theory in an Anti- absolutist or Republican direction, Hobbes, developing rather the conceptions of Bodin as to Majestas, became the head of an Absolutist School, holding the Sovereign to be absolutely irre- sponsible after explicit or implicit transference of rights, and contract of obedience. In express opposition to such Absolutist doctrine, Locke contended that, notwithstanding the delegation, by a Social Contract, of powers both legislative and executive, the People still remained Sovereign. But I have no space here further to characterise the Social Contract Theories of the other Eighteenth Century thinkers down to Rousseau.

I must now come at once to those dominant Nineteenth Cen- tury views of Social Origins, which I may distinguish as the Spontaneity Theories. The reaction, which culminated in Rous- seau, against the Historical Method of Bodin and Montesquieu, was followed by such a return to the Historical Method as led to the complete abandonment of the utterly unverifiable Social Con- tract Theories of the Eighteenth Century. The postulate, how- ever, of these theories, the Equality of different Races of Men, was not abandoned. And hence, as the only considerable store of relevant facts to which the Historical Method could be, as yet, appHed were those connected with Savage Societies, the Nine- teenth Century Theories of Sovereignty hitherto stated— and I may name particularly those of Dr. Tylor, Sir John Lubbock, and Mr. Spencer — have maintained that States originated sponta-

'■ De Jure Belli et Pads, Proieg,, 15.

3d4 institution and Custom ^ecttoii.

neously from homogeneous aggregations of Savages.^ But t6 this theory there are, as I think, at least five unanswered and unanswerable objections. In the first place : Though it is now more than eighty years since the earlier Spontaneity theorists were challenged by Niebuhr^ to name a single instance in which Savages have developed of themselves into a Civilised State, no such instance has yet been found. Secondly : Even to this day, and after unnumbered thousands of years of existence, Savages are found among whom an Individual Sovereign Power, funda- mental institution as it is of Civilised Society, has not yet been developed.^ Thirdly : Where among Savages — or more accu- rately, among Barbarians — such a Sovereign Power has been con- stituted, there is the reverse of any proof that these Barbarian Sovereignties have arisen, as contended, from the spontaneous development of homogeneous aggregates. Fourthly : Even

^ Perhaps Vico was the first to state this notion of spontaneous historical Jevc- lopment, in speaking of an " ideal eternal history in accordance with which are suc- cessively developed the histories of all nations from Savagery to Civilisation" (" Una storia ideal, eterna, sopra la quale corrono in tempo le storie di tutti le nazioni ; ch' ovemque da tempi selvaggi, feroci, et fieri comminciarno gli uomini ad addi- mesticarsi," Scienza Nitova, I. ii, s. v). And it is on this wholly unverified assumption that even such recent works as Lafargue's Evolution of Property is based.

- Romische Geichichte, Th. i, o. 88 (1811).

s See, for instance, Curr, The Australian Race, vol. i, pp. 51-60. '-On the subject of Government (by which I mean the habitual exercise of authority by one or a few individuals over a community, or a body of persons) I have made many inquiries, and received written replies from the observers of about a hundred tribes, to the effect that none exists. Indeed, no fact connected with our tribes seems better established," p. 60. •■ Except Mr. Smith and two other writers to whom I shall refer presently, no one that I can recollect has seriously asserted that Government exists in our tribes. Neither did 1, during a fifteen years' residence among the Blacks, detect it," p. 53. And according to the Rev. Dr. Codrington, the so-called Chiefs of the Melanesians are not tribal Chiefs, and have "never so much importance in the native view as they have in the eyes of European visitors, who carry with them the persuasion that savage people are always ruled by Chiefs" ( The AJelanesians, p. 45). " In the Northern New Hebrides the position of a Chief is more conspicuous, though perhaps only because those -who first made themselves acquainted with those islands have always taken them to be very important people. .... "The son does not inherit Chieftainship, but he inherits, if his father can manage it, what gives him Chieftainship, his father's manu, his charms, magic songs, stones, and apparatus, his knowledge of the way to approach spiritual beings, as well as his property, [Ibiil., p. 56,)

Stuart-Glennie. — Origins of Institutions. 365

admitting that the conditions specified by Mr. Spencer— inherit- ance through males, and descent from a ruler whose ghost is particularly feared — would "conduce to", there is no sort of proof that they would suffice for, the formation of, to use his phrase, " Permanent Headships."^ And fifthly: The only cases in which we have any — and it is now very ample — evidence of the actual historical origin of Civilised States, and of their fundamental institution, Individual Sovereignty, we find conditions of origin which have been either wholly ignored, or explicitly denied, by the Spontaneity Theorists.

4. It is to these conditions that I have been long endeavouring, especially during the last five years, to draw attention, as necessi- tating a new Theory of the Origins of Institutions, and generally of Civilisation. I have distinguised by a single word the four preced- ing theories to which I have referred : (i) the Patriarchal, (2) the Conquest, (3) the Contract, and (4) the Spontaneity Theories ; so I may distinguish the new theory I propose as the Racial Theory. For the essential characteristic in which it differs from all the preceding theories is its recognition of the Inequality of Human Races,^ and of the importance of this as one of the main con- ditions, not of a theoretical, but of the historical origin of Sove- reignty, and of Civilisation. I say, " not of a theoretical, but of the historical origin." For I decline to follow the Spontaneity theorists in speculating as to how Civilisation may have originated at undefined times, in undefined places, once on a time, some- where, and somehow. I have already said that, had it not been for the eighty years that separated Aristotle from Berosos, we should have certainly had from Aristotle a far more complex, yet also far more verifiable theory of the origin of States, than that set forth in his Politics. And though we have but the merest fragments now of the great work of Berosos, yet these fragments have been so remarkably verified, and so immensly supplemented by modern Chaldean research, that we should be inexcusable if, as disciples of Aristotle, we did not, as he with the X.aXia.'r/.a before him would certainly have done, make the facts of the Chaldean, and the similar facts of the Egyptian origins of Civili-

' Political Institutions, pp. ii,\ foil.

2 See De Gobineau, Intgalitf. des Races Humaines ; and Pott, Vngkichheit der mtnschlichen Rassen,

S66 Institution and Custom Section.

sation the bases of our theory of the origin of Sovereignty. Now, the chief of these facts is this : The Chaldean, as also the Egyptian, Civilisation had for the chief determining condition of its origin the settlement of a comparatively small number of a Higher White Race among Lower Coloured and Black Races. The evidences of this are of three classes : i. Ethnological ; ii. Archaeological ; and HI. Traditional. The first class of evidences includes the immense accumulation of anatomical and physiognomical facts which de- monstrate not only the world-wide distribution to this day of those Non-Semitic and Non- Aryan White Races, which Pritchard — "'tis sixty years since" — distinguished as " Allophyllian", but demonstrate also the " Allophyllian" character of the Ruling Classes in the most ancient Age of Chaldea, as well as of Egypt. The second class consists of those portraits of these Ruling Classes in wall-frescoes, in vase-paintings, in statues or statuettes, in wall-sculptures, in seal-engravings, etc., the earliest of which go authentically back to the First Age of the full development of the Chaldean and Egyptian Civilisations — the Age beginning ap- proximately about 5500 B.C., and similarly ending about 3000 B.C. — portraits which, almost without exception,^ have the distinctive features of the White Races. And the third class of evidences consists of those Myths, as they have hitherto been called — Sun and Moon Myths, and I know not what, by Dr. Tylor, Dr. Brinton, etc. — but which, placed side by side with the classes of facts just indicated, and others which I have here no space to indicate, cannot, I submit, be rationally interpreted otherwise than as the mythicised traditions of these Higher White Races with respect to their Primaeval Home, their Colonisation of Chaldea and of Egypt, and the greater Historical Events preced- ing their complete establishment, in the Sixth Millennium B.C., of

1 The special exception I have in view, as I write, is the portrait, in Mr. Flinders Petrie's Racial Types from Egypt, of Khufru of the Fourth Egyptian Dynasty (compare Lepsius, Denkmaler, and Rosellini, Monumenti Storin). But this, and other exceptional portraits, are merely evidences of the fact that the White Races established their supremacy by partial intermarriage with the Lower Races, reserving, however, special, and indeed matriarchal, privileges for the Women thus given in Marriage, and their offspring. These exceptional portraits, therefore, are just what might be expected, if my theory of Matriarchy is verifiable. See below. Sect. 11, 4.

Stuart-Glennie. — Origins of Institutions. 367

organised, and now monarchical, instead of, as previously, sacer- dotal States.^

5. From other than such a chief determining condition as that of which we have evidence thus manifold in Chaldea and in Egypt, we have absolutely no proof whatever that any Civilisation has arisen. We cannot, however, of course, be content with this merely negative evidence against current theories. And positive evidence has, therefore, still to be adduced to show that the chief determining condition of the origin of all other Civilisations has been identical with what we have found it to have been in Chaldea and in Egypt, namely — to state the fact in another of the many ways in which it may be stated — the settlement of a White Aristocracy among either racially or economically Lower Races. These evidences I cannot here even indicate. I can here only say that I believe it will be found, not only that all other Civilisa- tions have originated from a main determining condition similar to that found in Chaldea and in Egypt, but that they have thus originated, not independently of, but derivatively — directly or indirectly — from the prior Civilisations of the Nile and Euphrates Cradle-lands. But if Civilisation — or, more definitely and tech- nically, Sovereignty — thus originated, one or two consequences follow, of which a brief statement may give clearness to the general theory. As first result, what Mr. Spencer calls " Superorganic Evolution of the highest order" — what I call Politorganic, as distinguished from Zoonorganic Evolution — will be seen to differ in kind, and not merely, as he maintains, in degree, from that which we find " displayed in the Animal World".- For the facts, on which this new theory of the origins of Sovereignty is founded, show that the " Superorganic Evolution", which we find " dis- played" by Civilised Societies, even in their earliest known forms, is by no means adequately defined as " the coordinated actions of many individuals". The origin of Sovereignty and of Civilisation in the subjection of Lower by Higher Races, implies three things of which it is impossible to detect even the germs in the Societies even of Rooks and of Beavers. These three things are, a dif-

^ See Tlu Traditions of the Archaian White Races, Trans. R. Hist. Soc, New- Series, vol. iv.

2 ** Superorganic Evolution of the highest order arises out of an order no higher than that variously displayed in the Animal World at large." [Sociology, vol. i.)

368 Institution and Custom Section.

ferentiation of Psychical from Physical Development ; as a con- sequence of that, Written Records ; and as a consequence of that again, the new kind of Evolution which we call Progress. But secondly, we are thus led to distinguish two kinds of Sovereignty, neither of which can be derived from the other. These are, I, Social and Customary, and 11, Individual and Legal. The former arises spontaneously, both in Animal and Human Societies, from those general conditions of the Environment which give rise, first, to certain social customs, and then, to a social enforcement of obedience to these customs by expulsion from the Society. And the latter — Individual and Legal Sovereignty — arises only, accord- ing to the above theory, as result of the Conflict of Higher and Lower Races, and not, as affirmed by current theories, spon- taneously, that is to say, without such special conditions. It must be added, thirdly, that very considerable for the Science of Jurisprudence must be the results of the acceptance of this new theory of the origins of Sovereignty.^ But an endeavour to point out the juridical deductions from this new theory should be ad- dressed to a Juridical Society — though, to our shame, no such English Society exists — and not to a Folk-lore Congress.

Section II. — The Origins of Marriage.

I. I proceed, therefore, now to point out the bearings of the new theory of the origins of Sovereignty on the questions of the origins of Marriage and of Property. Mr. ^A^estermarck has defined Marriage as "a more or less durable connection between male and female, lasting beyond the mere act of propagation till after birth of the offspring";- and he "thinks that from a scientific point of view this is the only definition which may claim to be gene- rally admitted"." I regret to have to say that I think that Boire, manger, coiicher ensemble, c'est Marriage, is a definition of Human Marriage so utterly inadequate as to deprive Mr. Westermarck's book of almost all value, save as, what it certainly is, an admirable col-

1 For, as Sir Heniy Maine truly says {Institutions, p. 363), " On the conception of the origin of Sovereignty, the conceptions of Law, Right, Duty, and Punishment depend, just as the lower links of ^ chain, hanging down, depend on the highest link."

' History of Htiman Marriage, pp. 19. 20, and 537. ' Ibid,, p. 19.

Stuart-Glenn IE. — Origins of Institutions. 369

lection of facts. ^ Mating and Marriage are as different as are the two kinds of " Permanent Headship", or Sovereignty, just distin- guished — that of the Community, and that of a certam set of Individuals. Mr. Westerrnarck's definition of Marriage I would, therefore, accept only as a definition of Matmg. Mating, mono- gynic or polygynic, there is among Men as among Animals ; and Mating only among some Men, as among all Animals. But Human Marriage is more than Animal Mating. For besides "the more or less durable connection which distinguishes Mating, there are, in Marriage, both such restrictions on Mating, and such incidents of Mating, with regard especially to property, as are never found among Animals, and as altogether distinguish Animal Mating from Human Marriage. Different as are thus Mating and Marriage, properly so called, their conditions are different. The special features of Mating — whether, for instance, it is more, or whether it is less durable, whether it is monogynic or polygynic — depend altogether on physical conditions. But the special features of Marriage — whether, for instance, it is exogamous or endogamous, whether it is matriarchal or patriarchal — depend, on the contrary, on distinctly social conditions. As distinguished, therefore, from Mating, I would define Marriage as a more or less durable connection between men and women, which is limited by imposed Restrictions ; draws with it proprietary and other Rights ; and creates definite Relationships. Such is the Human, and distinctively Human Institution, with respect to the origins of which we have now to inquire.

2. Our first question must be : What was the earliest form of Human Marriage ? " The Patriarchal," answers Sir Henry Maine and his School ; " the Matriarchal," answers Mr. MacI.ennan, and those who think with him that sexual intercourse was originally, among men and women, altogether promiscuous.^ I venture to

^ In case this remark should appear too strong, it may be well to quote a some- what similar expression of opinion by Prof. Robertson Smith, in his review ot Mr, Westerrnarck's book, in Nature, vol. xliv, p. 271 : " He collects facts about the pre- valence of kinship through males or through females, about forbidden degrees, and so forth, without ever rising to the conception that the evidence is good for any- thing more than an inductio per enunierationem simpticein. This is not the way n which real progress can be made."

^ For the controversy on the subject between these two distinguished Scottish Jurists, see MacLennan, T/ie Patriarchal Theory, and Maine, Early Law and Cus'Offu


370 Institution and Custom Section.

think that neither answer can be accepted as in accordance with the facts now more fully known. Sir Henry Maine was misled by the Academic fiction which attributes to Roman Law, as to the Roman Empire, an importance which a due regard to the results of Egyptian and Chaldean research shows to be indefensibly exaggerated. Even the Semites, with their polygamous Patriarchal Family, do not appear on the arena of History till millenniums after the establishment of great Civilisations in the Nile and Euphrates Valleys ; and it was not till a very much later period still that the Aryans appeared with their monogamous Patriarchal Family.^ The consideration, therefore, of the origin of the his- torical Patriarchal Family can be by no means taken at the beginning of our inquiry. Nor, if our new point of view, from the historical beginnings of the Egyptian and Chaldean Civilisations, is, as I believe, that which is most likely to lead to verifiable results, can we regard the Matriarchal as the earliest form of Marriage. For if, instead of considering some theoretical, we study these historical beginnings, we find in Egypt and Chaldea, side by side with the Matriarchal Family, evidences of a Paternal, rather than Patriarchal Family. By this I mean a Family in which descent is traced from the father, in which headship is recognised in him, and in which there are certain regulations for the sake of maintaining purity of blood ; but a Family in which there is nothing like such exclusive strictness in these se\eral respects as we find afterwards in the Patriarchal Family of the Aryans, or even of the Semites. But if, in the Egyptian and Chaldean — which we may conveniently generalise and distinguish as the Archaian — Civilisa- tions, we find evidences of features distinctive not only of the Paternal, but also of the Matriarchal Marriage, on what ground can we give priority to the Paternal Family ? On this ground. ^\'e find the germ, at least, of both the polygamous and the mono- gamous Paternal Family among Animals,'^ and especially among

1 Whatever traces ot Semites there may be found at earlier dates, it was not till the fourth millennium B.C. that they appeared as inheritors and conquerors of the old Civilisations ; and though we may know of Aryans as invaders of India and of Thrace in the second millennium B.C., it was not till the sixth century B.C. that, with Cyrus the Great, they began their career of world-conquest.

^ See Nuova Antologia, Florence, 1875-6 ; Espinas, Sociitis Animales, 1878 ; and Letourneau, Evolution of Marriage^ chaps, i and ii.

Stuart-GlennIE. — Origins of Institutions. 371

Birds'- ; but we find among them no germ even of the Matriarchal Family. And the natural inference, therefore, is that, while the Paternal Family among men is a development of that which pre- vailed among them in their Arboreal stage, even as to this day it prevails among the polygamous Gorillas^ and monogamous Chim- panzees, the Matriarchal Family must have arisen from distinctively human conditions.

3. What were these conditions ? Our inquiry will have greater clearness if we first particularise the distinctive features of Matriarchy. These were : I. Superiority of the Woman, shown in one or other or all of these five incidents : (i) her holding pro- perty and power by her own right ; (2) the tracing of descent, and inheritance of property and power from her ; (3) the habitation of the husband in the wife's, or wife's father's house, and the greater authority of the wife's brother than of her husband over her children ; (4) her right to several husbands, and to divorce ; and (5) her general social liberty, power, and leadership. II. Prohibition of Marriage with a \^'oman of the same Totem- clan as the man's, and also with certain other Totem-clans than a man's own. III. Exogamy and a Classificatory system of Rela- tionships, or Relationships of which the names signify artificial Classes, rather than Blood-ties. All these facts go together — Superiority of the Woman shown in one or other or all of the five ways particularised ; restrictions on Marriage not determined by closeness of Blood-relationship, but by an artificial system of Totem-clans ; and along with this artificial, or " Classificatory", system of Relationships, Exogamy.^ It is this correlation of facts that has to be explained in any valid explanation of Matri- archy. And I have now to point out that, in the solutions of the problem hitherto stated, only some one of these facts has been

1 Mr. Brehm even says that " real genuine Marriage can only be found among Birds", Bird Life, p. 324.

' Mr. Westermarck refers to Gorillas as monogamous ; but according to Darwin they are polygamous — like their fellow-countrymen, the Negroes.

3 Dr. Tylor has found that the number of peoples with more or less of Classifi- catory Systems is 53, and that the number of peoples with both Exogamy and Classification is 33 — more than half and less than two-thirds— and hence has con- cluded that Exogamy and Classificatoi-y Relationships are two sides of one insti- tution, four. Anthroplgl. Institute, v. xviii, p. 264.

B B 2

372 Institution and Custom Section.

specially seized on for explanation, and that not even this selected fact has been verifiably explained.

Maternal Filiation — the tracing of descent from Mothers instead of Fathers — is that one of the various correlative facts, characteris- ing the institution of Matriarchy, which has hitherto been made the chief object of explanation. It is, however, a special rather than general fact. For it is but one of five incidents of that Superiority of the ^\'oman which has just been stated as the first of the three general characteristics of Matriarchy. And how is this Maternal Filiation explained? By an hypothesis expressly invented for the purpose of explaining this fact — the hypothesis of such an original promiscuity of sexual intercourse between men and women that fathers were unknown, and hence descent was traced to the mother as the only known parent. Such has been the answer given to the question as to the origins of Matriarchy for more than a hundred years past — from Millar, in his Origin of Ranks, iJTi- 1806, to Lubbock, in his Origin of Civilisation, 1870-1882. At last, this convenient assumption of an original promiscuity was mildly questioned by Spencer, 1885, Starcke, 1889, and Letourneau, 1 891.1 I ventured more decisively to question it^ in showing, first, that it aflrrms far lower sexual relations originally among men and women than prevail among Man's nearest collaterals, the Anthropoid Apes — nay, among the A'ertebrata generally, and especially Birds > and secondly, that, even were the assumption granted, it would explain only one of the various correlative facts which must be accounted for in any true explanation of Matri- archy. And after my Chapters on The Origins of Matriarchy were in type, though before they were pubhshed, Mr. A\'estermarck's History of Human Marriage appeared with two or three chapters specially devoted to the refutation of this postulate of the current theories of the origin of the Matriarchal Family. But triumphant as Mr. Westermarck's demonstration of the inadmissibiUty of the Promiscuity-postulate is, I believe, generally admitted to be — what

1 See also Le Bon, V Homme et les Sociitis, L. i, cli. ii, Les Societh Animalis. " L'etude des Societes Animales les plus voisines de I'homme ne nous permet pas d'admettre que la communaut^ represente la forme primitive. Chez aucune espece animale on n'observe de manage en commun. Mais il en est autrement dans les societes artificielles creees par la captivite" {p. 289).

The Women and Folk-lore of Turkey, vol. ii ; The Origins of Matriarchy, pp. 597-603.

St\J AKT-Gh'EN'HlE.— Origins of Institutions. 373

postulate, or hypothesis, does he himself put forward as a means of solving this long-discussed problem of the origins of Matri- archy ? An hypothesis of Sexual Aversion which is the direct antithesis of that hypothesis of Sexual Promiscuity which Mr. Westermarck has disproved.

Mr. Westermarck has especially sought to explain the second and third of the above-defined general characteristics of Matri- archy, namely, II. Prohibition of Marriage with a Woman of the same Totem-clan as oneself; and III. Exogamy with a Classi- ficatory System of Relationships. And the hypothesis, by which Mr. ^\'estermarck seeks to explain these characteristics of Matri- archy, he thus states: "What I maintain is that there is an innate aversion to Sexual intercourse between persons living very closely together from early youth" (p. 320); that "this instinctive aversion to Marriage between persons living closely together originated" in the survival of those who avoided a detrimental inbreeding, and in the consequent development of an instinct against it which " would display itself simply as an aversion to union with others with whom they lived, and in consequent Exogamy" (pp. 350-2); and hence, that " the Classificatory system springs from the close living-together of considerable numbers of kinsfolk" (p. 330). But to the fundamental assumption of this hypothesis it must be at once objected (i) that there is no such aversion as is affirmed among animals; (2) that among human beings it is precisely the absence of any such aversion, and what are consequently found to be the results of " the close living- together of considerable numbers of kinsfolk" that gives its chief weight to the movement both in England and in other countries towards "the better housing of the Working-classes"; and (3) that, not among them only, but among the noblest Aryan Races, the Greeks and the Persians, even at the greatest height of their Civilisations, there were, not as among us now, unlawful, but law- ful unions between even sisters and brothers who had "lived very closely together from early youth."^ I submit that, so far as Mr.

' I have thus summarised the facts ( Women and Folk-lore of Turkey, vol. ii, p. 567): "In Greece, (TU77ei'6ia or h.yx^^'^^'^^ was, with but few exceptions, no bar to marriage, and all the Ptolemies married their sisters. Only direct lineal descent was, in Greece, an absolute bar. But even such close kinship as this was, in Persia, no bar to marriage."

374 Institution and Custom Section.

Westermarck has noticed, he has in no appreciable degree weakened the force of these objections^ ; while, at the same time, the facts which he himself sets forth with respect to Sexual Selec- tion influenced by Sympathy (pp. 365 flg.) seem to be directly opposed to his postulate of instinctive " abhorrence of marriage with those with whom we are in daily contact". If the " aversion" postulated cannot be verified, it is unnecessary to consider Mr. Westermarck's hypothesis as to its origin. But as to the coexist- ence of large Households and Marriage-prohibitions, it must be pointed out that if the one is to be assumed to be the cause of the other, one may as well affirm, so far as Mr. Westermarck has stated anything of importance to the contrary, that the Prohibi- tions are the cause of the large Households, as affirm, with him, that the large Households are the cause of the Prohibitions.^ And yet further, even suppose his hypothesis granted for the explanation of the second and third characteristics, it has been in no way shown how it would explain , the first characteristic of Matriarchy — the Superiority of the ^Voman, as indicated by the various incidents above noted.

4. Still less has it been shown that the hypothesis assumed for the explanation of the origin of Matriarchy is in any way related to an explanation of the origin of Sovereignty. But I submit that our theory of the origin of any one of the three great institutions of Civilised Society must have definite relations to our theory of the origin of each of the two other institutions. And I shall now proceed to show that, from the great classes of facts on which is founded our theory, rather than mere hypothesis, as to the origin of Sovereignty, an at least more verifiable hypothesis than either

1 As to ( I ), Mr. Westermarck, while admitting that there is no aversion to incest among the lower animals, remarks that " the young leave the family as soon as able to shift for themselves" (p. 334), which is, however, by no means always, if even generally, the case. As to (2), which includes not only the facts as to the overcrowded labouring population of England, both in town and country, but also of foreign countries, and particularly among the Russian peasantry, these facts have not, I think, been noticed at all by Mr. Westermarck. And as to (3), he can evade the force of the objection only by remarking that when these incestuous unions are not due to pride of blood or extreme isolation, they are accompanied with bestiality and other unnatural vices (p. 333).

" Hence Prof. Robertson Smith remarks that " the theoi-y begins by postulating the very custom that it professes to explain", Nature, vol. xliv, p. 271.

Stuart-Glennie. — Origins of Institutions. 375

the Sexual Promiscuity, or the Sexual Aversion hypothesis, may be deduced as to the origin of Matriarchy. Note, then, that the main condition of the establishment of both the Modern and the Ancient, and, so far as we know, Primary, Civilisations, has been identical : the settlem.ent of ethnologically or economically Higher among ethnologically or economically Lower Races. But there has been this difference : the Romans, Spaniards, British, etc., in settling among savage or barbarous peoples have not taken their Women with them, having had secure and permanent homes to leave them in. It was certainly not so with the earlier and earliest founders of Civilisation. But how could White Colonists settling with their Women among — in the words of Berosos recording the ancient Chaldean tradition — "a great multitude of men living lawlessly and after the manner of beasts"^ — how could such Colonists obtain for their women respect, and for their race supremacy, save by surrending a certain proportion of their Women to the Coloured and Black Races, but — and in the most natural way — on just such conditions of Superiority accorded, and willingly accorded^ to the Women as I have above particularised as characteristic of Matriarchy ? If, however, the White Women married to men of the Lower Races (i) held property and power by their own right ; if (2) descent were traced, and property and power inherited from these White Women ; if (3) the hus- band of Lower Race lived in the \Vhite Woman's house, or her father's, and her brother had more authority over her children than her husband ; if (4) the White Women had the right each to several husbands, and to divorce ; and if (5) the AVhite \Vomen exercised power and leadership over the Lower Races to whom they were thus united, is it not evident that the whole organi- sation — or perhaps one should say rather, aggregation— of the surrounding Lower Races would be gradually, and, no doubt, at first, insensibly changed, but in such a way as to insure to the White Colonists what we know that they somehow obtained, com-

1 Ev SS Trj BaSvXai'i tio\u irXrjBos avSpdnruv jiveaBai aWoeBviv KarotKiiacivTuv riip x"'i5'<'«>'i «• •'■. ^- Lenormant, Fragments cosmog. de Berose, p. 6.

2 I say "willingly accorded", because, so far as we have evidence in modern times of the settlement of " unprotected" white women among savage-races. Superiority had been accorded to them without any demand on the part of white kinsmen. See, for instance, the case of the shipwreck on the south-east coast of Africa, about 1770, mentioned in Buckland, Anthropological Studies, p. 77-

376 Institution and Custom Section.

plete supremacy over the far-outnumbering Lower Races ?^ And is it not also further evident that, so soon as the, at first, silently growing customs connected with the Marriage of the AVhite AVomen to the surrounding Lower Races were observed to have tendencies so important for the White Settlers, these customs would be gradually regulated and developed ; and that, partly thus from spontaneously-arising custom, and partly from fore- sighted legislation. Totem-clans, Prohibitions of Marriage with those of the same Totem, and finally the whole complex system of Classificatory Relationships, might originate?' — impossible as it seems to be to explain it as an invention of Savages.^

5. Such is the hypothesis as to the origin of Matriarchy which I venture to suggest as more verifiable, perhaps, than any of those hitherto proposed. Its verification is to be found in five classes of facts : i. The facts showing that Matriarchy was an institution characterised by all the three features by which I have distinguished it* ; or, in other words, that some one or more of the incidents indicative of a Superiority accorded to the ^Voman occur so often with Totemistic Prohibitions, Exogamy, and Classificatory Relationships, that such Superiority must be re-

1 See for references as to the extraordinary, and extraordinarily rapid way in which the distinctive characters of tribes are changed under the operation of exogamous marriage, when the tribes thus intermarrying are of different races, or belong, for instance, one to the plains and another to the hills, Giraud Teulon, ha Famille.

'^ I agree with Mr. Westermarck in thinking that " it cannot be proved that where the Classificatory System prevails, the nomenclature is intended to express the degree of consanguinity so exactly as Mr. Morgan assumes, or that it had originally anything whatever to do with descent" (p. 96). And, indeed, if all of the same name or totem are kin, and if marriage with those of the same name or totem is prohibited, does it not naturally follow that the special kinship within the totem- name will be distinguised \)^ generations rather than by individuals. The use ot " Father" and " Mother" for old men and women ; of " Baba" (uncle) for elderly man; of "Brother" for person of about the same adult age; of "Son" or " Daughter" for younger persons ; of " Nepos" for persons outside of the primary relationships; of "Nief" for nephew, grandson, or cousin; and of "Niece" by Shakespeare for grand-daughter, may illustrate, even among us, the classificatory use of terms of relationship.

^ Thus, such an authority as Mr. Curr says: " The existence of artificial restraints of this kind presupposes some controlling power. . The system seems too in- tricate to have been the invention of tribes so low down in the scale of mental capa- city". Hie Australian Race, vol. i, pp. 51 and 118

■• Above, % 3.

Stuart-Glenn IE. — Origins of Institutions. -^yj

garded as an essential feature of the institution, and as demanding explanation no less than its other two distinctive features, ii. The facts showing, in ancient Egypt and Chaldea — where Sovereignty certainly originated in the conflict of a Higher White Race with Lower Coloured and Black Races — traces, at least, of Matriarchal institutions side by side with those of the Paternal Family.' in. Those facts of the folk-lore of Turkey which show that, notwith- standing the predominance of Patriarchal institutions for thou- sands of years, there yet still exist evidences of a former Matriarchy in Lands certainly civilised from Chaldea, and where Coloured and White Races still coexist, as we know that, from the remotest historical times, they have coexisted.^ iv. The facts showing that all over the world, wherever there exist Matriarchal customs, there exist also, either in still distinct White and C'oloured Races, or in a now mixed race, and in traditions, or other evidences of the settlement of a White Race, or, as in Austraha, of the migration of a mixed race,^ proofs that with the existing Matriarchy there also exists, or formerlv existed, that Conflict of Higher White with Lower Coloured and Black Races, from which the origin of Matriarchy is, in this hypothesis, deduced. And v. the ex- planations which, if this hypothesis of the origin of Matriarchy is accepted, can at once be given of many facts of which no satis- factory explanation has hitherto been given. Such, for instance, as these — that more than half the greater and more ancient deities of Greece were not gods, but goddesses ; that it was not priests, but priestesses, who presided, and gave utterance to the oracles at the most ancient shrines ; and that many of the most ancient Greek cities were named after Women : such, for instance, further, as the Amazonian myths, or rather mythicised traditions :

1 The evidences of this are to be found not only in maternal as well as paternal genealogies, but in legal documents, both Egyptian and Babylonian.

■' It is to the setting-forth of this class of facts that I have chiefly devoted the chapters on The Origins of Matriarch r,vih\di conclude '/he Women and Folk- lore of Turkey,

3 The Australians are thus described by Mr. Curr: "Reddish or coppery colour mixed with black. . . Nose occasionally aquiline. . . Hirsute, black tinged with auburn, but this oftener on moustache and beard" (Australian Race, vol. i, pp •58-9). And Mr. Curr finds himself able to identify the place of landing of the Race on the north-west coast of the continent, and their migrations thence (vol. 1, ch. vii, pp. 190-207).

3/8 Institution and Custom Section.

and such, above all, as the Patriarchal Family of the Semites, and especially of the Aryans. For of this stringent Patriarchy we know nothing till first the Semites and, much later, the Aryans were in contact with, and attempting the conquest of, the Matriarchal Civilisations, and when the consequences of Matriarchal Misce- genation might well determine a reaction in favour of maintain- ing, by the regulations of the Patriarchal Family, the purity of the blood of the White Races.

Section III. — The Origins of Property.

I regret that the length to which, notwithstanding constant condensation, my remarks have run in the two foregoing sections, leaves me no space for a concluding section on the Origins of Property, which would have completed the preceding argument. But one remark I may perhaps be allowed to make. The Origins of Property involve the question of the Origins of Capital. Now, according to the presently dominant theory of Socialism on this subject. Capital is derived exclusively from the exploitation of Labour. But consideration of the actual historical origins of Capital shows us two Races — one, which fulfilled its proper function as workers ; and another which fulfilled the function, no less in accordance with its capacities, nor less necessary to the accumulation of Capital, the function of Thinkers and Rulers. The current Theory is based on the false postulate of the Equality of Human Races. The new Theory is based on that fact of Inequality of which the final outcome will be functional Oneness.


The Tinwald in the Isle of Man is the most perfect remaining example of an ancient Norse Moot-place. It is situate on a plain, surrounded by mountains, on which is to be found the hill or mound, and the court invariably associated with such assemblies.

According to the late Dr. Vigfusson, the Manx Tinwald and the Icelandic All-Moot correspond in each particular point —

The Tin-wald answers to the Icelandic \vt\g-voU-r ; the Tinwald-hill to the Icel. Log-berg^ or Logbrekkd ; the House of Keys to the Icel. Log-retta?' (court) ; the chapel to the temple of heathen days.

The 24th ^-wxt. procession answers to the Icel. Logbergis-ganga,^ or doma-iit-fcersla^ on the first Saturday of every session, the distance between hill and court being about 140 yards in each case.

The path, being fenced in like the court and hill, and used for this solemn procession when the judges and officers go to and fro between them, would answer to the Icel. ff/z^a//ar-i'mS,?n'5

The Manx Deemsters (dom-stiorar, deem steerers) answer to the Icelandic Law-man or Speaker. There were two Deemsters in the Isle of Man, because its central Tinwald is a union of two older separate Tinwalds (traces of the sites of which, one in the north and the other in the south of the Island, still exist),

1 Lii'T-berg, " the law hill, law rock," where the Icelandic legislature was held.

^ LOg-brekka, " law slope or brink," the hill where public meetings were held and laws promulgated.

^ LUg-ritta, " law-mending," the name of the legislature of the Icelandic Com- monwealth.

  • LOgbergis-ganga, " the procession to the law rock."

^ Ddma-id-farsla, " the opening of the courts. The Judges went out in a body in procession, and took their seats.

6 -fingvaUar-trOSer, " Tinwald enclosure or lane."


Institution and Custom Section.

each of which kept its Law-speaker, when the two were united in one central Moot. The Keys answer to the bench of godes, being two benches of twelve godes, just as in Iceland there were four benches of each twelve godes?-

The Hill and the Temple were the two holy spots, not the Court. The king sat on the hill, not in the court.

In days of old. Hill and Court were, as it were, twins. Dis- cussions, enactments of laws, and decisions of law points took place in the Court, but anything partaking of proclamation, declaration, publication, was done from the Hill. It was the people's place.

The Manx Tinwald hill is said to have been composed of earth taken from all the seventeen parishes of the Island. It is circular in form, and consists of four terraces, the lowest of which is 8 feet broad, the next 6 feet, the third 4 feet, and the topmost 6 feet, each terrace being 3 feet high.^

Except for a brief notice in the Chronicoii MannicB, under date October 25, 1237, to the effect that "a meeting was held of all the people of Man at Tynwald",* we have no account of this court before the fifteenth century, but then, fortunately, we have in our Statute-Book an exact statement of the ancient forms and ceremonies at it, as they were given to Sir John Stanley in 141 7 : "Our Doughtfull and Gratious Lord, this in the Constitution of old Time .... how ye should be governed on your Tynwald Day. First, you shall come thither in your Royal Array, as a king ought to do, by the Prerogatives and Royalties of the Land of Mann. And upon the hill of Tynwald sitt in a Chaire, covered with a royall Cloath and Cushions, your Visage into the East, and your Sword before you, holden with the Point upward ; your Barrons in the third degree sitting beside

^ The godes composed the L6g-ritta, and were the law-givers of the country.

ft. in. 2 Circumference at foot of lowest mound top

foot second ,, ,, third .. top „

of outside wall enclosing Tinwald Length of path from Chapel .... " Congregatio totius Mannensis populi apud Tingualla.'

. . . Z56


. 162

. 102

. 60

. 42

• 366

Moore. — The Timvald. 381

you, and your beneficed Men and your Deemsters before you silting ; and your Clarkes, your Knights, Esquires and Yeomen, about you in the third Degree ; and the worthiest men in your Land to be called in, before your Deemsters, if you will ask any Thing of them, and to hear the Government of your Land, and your Will ; and the Commons to stand without the Circle of the Hill, with three Clearkes in their surplisses. And your Deemsters shall make Call in the Coroner of Glenfaba ; and he shall call in all the Coroners of Man, and their Yards m their Hands, with their Weapons upon them, either Sword or Axe. And the Moares, that is, to ^^'itt of every sheading. Then the Chief Coroner, that is the Coroner of Glenfaba, shall make affence, upon Paine of Life and Lyme, that noe Man make any Disturb- ance or Stirr in the Time of Tynwald, or any Murmur or Rising in the King's presence, upon Paine of Hanging and Drawing. And then shall let your Barrons and all others know you to be their King and Lord."

Let us now briefly enumerate, first, what portions of this cere- mony are the relics of primitive institutions ; and, second, what portions of it we retain at the present day.

Under the first heading we have : (i) The fact of the assembly being in the open air. It is noteworthy that the Tinwald Court, even in winter-time, sat in the open air as late as 1643, when, as on many previous occasions, it was held " betwixt the gates" at Castle Rushen. This was also the regular place for the purely judicial courts up to an even later date, which leads to the sug- gestion that the continuance of them in such an uncomfortable spot was perhaps due to the curious superstition that just judg- ment was more likely to be given in the open air, as then magic could have no influence over it.

(2) The position of the King with his visage to the east, and probably face to face with the sun, when the Tinwald began, as in the All-moot and, approximately, in the Welsh GorseS. This would indicate that in old days the Tinwald began at a much earlier hour than at present.

(3) The position of the Sword, if not primitive, is at least very old, especially in municipal ceremonies. It may be mentioned that the ancient Sword of State of the twelfth century is still pre- served in the Island.

(4) The Deemsters' office, which was probably hereditary.

382 Institution and Custom Section.

They were supposed to have an extensive knowledge of the customary or breast laws which it was their duty to expound and to transmit orally to their successors. Their mere presence, or that of one of them, constituted a court, and they were obliged to hear cases whenever or wherever called upon to do so. They issued their summons by scratching their initials upon a piece of slate, which was then called their token.

(5) The fencing of the Court, when on the hill, by the Coroner, with the severe penalties for making a disturbance. This shows that the hill was a sacred place, and we may note that in the last century there was a sod-bank round it, as well as round the path and the chapel, which has since been replaced by a stone wall, topped with sods. We may note, too, that the Coroner, called in Manx the Tosia^ht-joarrey, is a very ancient official.

(6) The armed attendance, as at Appenzell in Switzerland.

(7) The attendance of the Commons, and their undoubted right to signify their assent or dissent, in accordance with which the proceedings were valid or not.

(8) The possession of both legislative and judicial functions by the " worthiest men in the land", Claves or Keys, as they were called. The Keys were, in fact, a grand jury of assessors, who were selected for the special occasion, and then dismissed. This want of distinction between legislative and judicial power is, according to Sir Henry Maine, a true survival of primitive thought.^

Let us now see how much of this ceremonial we still retain; (i) The laws are promulgated- in Manx and English from the summit of the hill iri the open air, after they have been signed in the chapel ; and the procession takes place as of old.

(2 and 3) The King appears only through his representative, the Lieutenant-Governor, but his position, and that of the sword, is unchanged.

(4) The Deemster still exists, though he is shorn of his archaic attributes.

(5) The Coroner fences the Court in terms similar to those used in the 15th century, which were : "I doe fence the King of Man, and his officers, that noe manner of man do brawle or quarrel, nor molest the audience, lying, leaning, or sitting, and to show

' Ew'ly History of Institutions, p. 26.

'^ Of late years only the marginal notes have been read.

Moore. — The Tinwald. 383

their accord when they are called, by Lycense of the King of Man and his Officers. I do drawe Witness to the whole Audience that the Court is fenced" ; the present forme being, "I fence this court in

  • u c ■ \ Lord, the King. ) ^ ,

the name of our sovereign i t j .. ^ > I do charge

^ \ Lady, the Queen. ) ^

that no person do brawl, quarrel, or make any disturbance, and

that all persons answer to their names when called ; I charge this

audience to witness that this court is fenced, I charge this audience

to bear witness that this Court is fenced ; I charge this whole

audience to bear witness that this Court is fenced."

(6) The members of the Court are no longer armed, but the pathway from the chapel to the hill is lined with soldiers.

(7) The right of the Commons to take part in the proceedings has never been formally abrogated.

(8) The Keys continued their judicial functions till 1866, when they were for the first time elected by the people. From being a varying body of men elected for each occasion only, they had gradually become a permanent body, which practically elected its own members, who held office for life ; they had become, in fact, a close corporation, recruited solely from a few of the principal insular famihes, and, though called the Representatives of the people, they really represented no one but themselves.

In conclusion, let me point out that, in the words of the learned Worsaae, " It is, indeed, highly remarkable that the last remains of the old Scandinavian Thing . . . are to be met with not in the north itself, but in a little island far towards the west, and in the midst of the British kingdom. The history of the Manx Thing Court remarkably illustrates that spirit of freedom, and that political ability which animated men, who in ancient times emi- grated from Norway, and the rest of the Scandinavian north."i -^g may note also that, in Scandinavian days, the Court was only a part of the Midsummer festival, which in Man, as in Iceland, probably lasted a fortnight, during which there was a religious feast and merry-makings of all kinds, such as hurling and football, match- making, feasting, and, above all, recitals of legends and traditions. As regards Man, however, we have no definite information about the observance of this time from tradition, except that there was a fair, which still continues ; and from written sources there is

^ The Danes and N'orthnien, p. 296.

3^4 Institution and Custom Section.

only preserved a letter written in 1636, by Bishop Parr to Arch- bishop Neile, in which he states that on St. John Baptist's day he found the people in a chapel dedicated to that Saint " in the practice of gross superstitions", which he caused " to be cried down", and, in the place of them, "appointed Divine services and sermons. We can only wish that the good Bishop had informed us what these " gross superstitions" were. It was on this day, too, that Manannan, the mythical ruler of Man, received his tribute of rushes, and it is curious that the pathway leading up to the chapel is still covered with rushes supplied by a small farm close by, which is held on the tenure of doing this service.



c c


Having been asked to exhibit to the Folk-lore Congress my own small collection of charms and amulets, and to make a few descriptive remarks upon them — which, under the circumstances, must be quite brief and informal — I wish to point out, in the first instance, that, to a great extent, they are things which those in- terested have often heard of, or at least they resemble magical objects described in well-known books. But though often written of, such objects are comparatively seldom seen, so that it is still worth while to exhibit specimens of them to students of Folk-lore. I find myself making these remarks on the day devoted to Mythology. In this Folk-lore Congress there is no special section devoted to, or day set apart for, Magic, but the time will come when the importance of Magic, in studying the lower develop- ments of the human mind, will become so much more evident that I think for future Congresses it may be necessary to set apart a special time and place for its consideration. But for the present the arrangement will work well enough, as Mythology is its nearest neighbour, the same process of mind being in- volved in Magic and Mythology. I have for years endeavoured to prove that the main source of Mythology is also the main source of Magic. Down from our own level to that of the peasant and of the savage, the process of sympathetic magic is to be traced to the same intelligible, but illogical, association of ideas which lies at the root of the apparently creative fancies of the myth-maker. That anything is like anything else is sufficient foundation for a myth, while the magician would consider that to do anything to one such object would practically affect the other object it resembled. To illustrate this, let me call attention to one of my charms — a natural agate pebble like a human eye.

CC 2

388 General Theory and Classification Section.

Shown to a story-teller, it might suggest to him such a myth as that a hero pulled out the eyes of his rival by the sea-shore, and since then stone eyes have lain about on the beach. From the magician-doctor's point of view, these pebbles are kept and treasured by the Arabs for curing diseases of the eye, for the suffi- cient reason that they are like eyes. The world is full of magical practices whereby anything resembling a person, or even belong- ing to or associated with him, furnishes a means of doing him sympathetic harm.

I exhibit here an instrument used among the Australians, of deadly effect, whereby a man can kill another, who is away out of his reach, perhaps with forests and rivers between them. It is a guliwill, a piece of wood burnt at the two ends, to which has to be attached something that has belonged to the person : a bit of his hair or nails, etc., or in these modern times, when a savage has taken to wearing clothes, a piece of his shirt or coat. The figure of a man is drawn upon the wood, intended to repre- sent the person to be acted upon. This is roasted before the fire, and burns up the victim it is intended for. It is remarkable that the natives were struck with the suitability of the chimneys of white men's houses for this practice, and hung up their charms there. If some such object were fastened by the natives to a yamstick set up before a fire, when the cord burnt through, and it fell, the bewitchment was complete. This is, indeed, so hke the practices of sorcerers in our own time in the civilised world, that there is some difficulty in separating the purely native part of it from that learnt from European superstition. Obviously the figure of the man on this Australian charm was done by a native who had seen how white men draw. It is so with another practice of the Australian savage, to stick broken glass into an enemy's footprint. This is so common, that when a native falls lame he will say that somebody has put " bottle into his foot. This belongs, however, to a well-known art of European sorcery. Still, the evidence seems sufficient to show that work- ing magic upon hair and nails, and things that bear a resem- blance to the person to be bewitched, were known among the Australians, and practised by them before they came into contact with the Europeans. We have, therefore, to deal with the fact

Tylor. — Exhibition of Charms and Amulets. 389

that here are exempHfied some of the most unchanged phenomena in human nature, so unchanged that between the practice of the savage Australian and the modern European it is difificult to tell which is which.

Beside the sticks used for this ugly Australian custom, now let me put certain magical objects used in our own country to this day in out-of-the-way places. Here is one of the famous hearts stuck through with pins which are to be hung up in chimneys of country cottages, with the idea that, as the heart shrivels in the smoke, so the victim will shrivel away ; and as the pins stuck through and through penetrate sharply, so pains and disease and agony and death will go to the person to be attacked.

This spiteful magical process is witnessed to by numerous passages in old literature. A man was put on his trial for prac- tising on figures with this intent in ancient Egypt, and similar accounts from classic and mediseval times are well known. Images or associated objects were pricked with thorns or pins, or made of wax and put to melt at the fire. Sometimes, with a milder purpose, but according to the same principles of magic, they were hung up by young women, and pierced, and done things to, in order that the hearts of their lovers might be thereby wounded and hurt until they came to better ways.

A similar charm now exhibited is interesting from the fact that not only its genuineness, but its exact history, is known. It is an onion stuck full of pins, and bearing on a label the name of a certain John Milton, a shoemaker in Rockwell Green, the hamlet where the onion was prepared to bewitch him. In a low cottage- alehouse there, certain men were sitting round the fire of logs on the hearth, during the open hours of a Sunday afternoon, drinking, when there was a gust of wind ; something rustled and rattled in the wide old chimney, and a number of objects rolled into the room. The men who were there knew perfectly what they were, caught them up, and carried them off. I became possessed of four of them, but three have disappeared mysteriously. One which has gone had on it the name of a brother magistrate of mine, whom the wizard, who was the alehouse-keeper, held in particular hatred as being a strong advocate of temperance, and therefore likely to interfere with his malpractices, and whom apparently he

39° General Theory and Classification Section.

designed to get rid of by stabbing and roasting an onion repre- senting him. My friend, apparently, was never the worse, but when next year his wife had an attack of fever, there was shak- ing of heads among the wise. That pubUcan-magician was a man to have seen. He was a thorough-going sorcerer of the old bad sort, and the neighbours told strange stories about him. One I have in my mind now. At night, when the cottage was shut up, and after the wife had gone to bed, there would be strange noises heard, till the neighbours were terrified about the goings on. One night his wife plucked up courage and crept downstairs to peep through the key-hole, and there she saw the old man solemnly dancing before the bench, on which sat "a little boy, black all over, a crowdin' (fiddling) to 'un.

To the members of this Congress who came over to Oxford last Saturday I was able to show, in the Pitt-Rivers Museum, a large carp ere., " clay body", made only two years ago in a parish in the far north of Scotland, to harm a landowner there. The known practice of putting such a clay figure in running water, that the victim might waste away likewise, had fortunately not been observed in this case, but pins and nails stuck in the clay testified to a similar spiteful intent. The servants found it, and broke it up, apparently to neutralise its action, but the master hearing of it, had the pieces collected ; and now that they are put together, the figure will remain as one of the most remark- able relics of magic in the world. Ancient and barbaric witch- craft of the kind are only known by records, but it is curious evidence of the conservatism of magic — this most conservative of human arts — that our own civilised country still furnishes speci- mens which Australia or Egypt cannot rival.

Mention may here be appropriately made of an object which has been described in the Journals of the Folk-lore Society. Years ago, in ^^'ellington, a town very little distant from where the onions came from, was found a rope with feathers in it, to which people gave the name of the Witches' Ladder. It was sug- gested to me that I should bring it here to show you to-day, but I did not do so, because from that day to this I have never found the necessary corroboration of the statement that such a thing was really used for magic. The popular opinion that it was so was

Tylor. — Exhibition of Charms and Amulets. 39 1

very likely true ; but unsupported opinion does not suffice, and therefore the rope had better remain until something turns up to show one way or the other whether it is a member of the family of sorcery instruments. But in the meantime I will not wholly disappoint you, for I have brought here an instrument of sorcery which corresponds very much with the description of the Witches' Ladder on a small scale, being a cord to which feathers are fastened all round. It comes from the north of Italy, where it is the ordinary implement used for causing disease and death. When a person is taken sick with fever, the first thing the old women do is to ransack the mattress in search of a " ghirlanda (garland), made of a string with feathers, bits of bones, and other things attached to it. The garland is seized and burnt, upon which the patient may get well. The present speci- men of the ghirlanda has feathers fastened upon the string, and bones and other bits of rubbish. The old woman who ex- tracted it from the mattress sold it, and very discreetly burnt something else instead. But how it acts is not evident. If we reduce our minds to the necessary level of simplicity and stupidity of the peasant and savage, we can understand — a child can understand — how hair and nails were used in this connection ; but how a string of feathers can be assumed to have some such effect requires an explanation which is probably forthcoming in local folk-lore.

Though there has been for years a Folk-lore Society in England, and though many people are looking out very carefully for examples of magic and the like, yet the subject is far from being exhausted. A person going into the country to an out-of-the- way place may still find something new, or at least with details not described in the books. In the north-west of Ireland, some years ago, in a village not far from Clew Bay, where I was staying, a cow was ill, and formed the topic of the conversation. It was too far to get a doctor ; and the old lady who owned the cow confided to me her regret that there was not one of " them as know" in the place who could draw the worm-knot. On my in- quiring what a worm-knot might be, she explained that it is a peculiar knot made in a piece of twine, which being held over the back of a sick beast, and the ends pulled, if the knot draws

392 General Theory and Classification Section.

smoothly out, the beast will recover ; but if the knot hitches, it will die. She could not make me the knot herself, but the boys could. I had several made, and I have put them under a glass shade, because they will not bear rough handling. It is a very loose knot : and my experience, in trying to play tricks with one or two of them, is, that if you once undo them you cannot get them together again, or at least I cannot. I may add that, though the knot was not available in this particular case, the cow got well. A boy was sent to the nearest town, and came back with a quantity of Epsom-salts, which was given to her.

As to one remaining group of charm-objects which I have to remark on, we are in a much more difficult region. We have come into the other side of magic, from the sympathetic side to that, partly at least, of religion. A great part of magic calls into help spiritual powers, deities who will dispel and cure the disease. There is, for instance, the so-called " Evil Eye", which is met by a system of charms in which the intervention of special spiritualistic beings is traced. This flourishes especially in Naples, that wonderful place for charms, but it also pervades all Italy. The Roman children carried a little amulet against the " Evil Eye", in small tokens or in silver or gold capsules. This (exhibiting an object) is the Bulla which the ancient Roman child carried strung round his neck. I became possessed of a number of such Neapolitan charms through that excellent antiquary, my friend Mr. Neville Rolfe, to which the generic name of Cimaruta is given. They are made of silver, and their appearance in a general way is of a sprig-like form, but there are other symbols introduced. Among these we notice the familiar face of the crescent moon at the bottom of the charm. Compare this to an object which is also used in Naples, and which is hung round the horses' necks as a pre- servative against the "Evil Eye". It is the moon with the face in it. The phalera representing the crescent moon is shown also as worn by the soldiers on Trajan's column. All this is an appeal apparently to the supernatural, to that great power the Moon, or Moon-goddess, for help : at least, that is the most rational and natural explanation given of it. May I now ask you to look at this other brass moon, of which the suspension is precisely

Tylor. — -Exhibition of Charms and Amulets. 393

similar, and which is carried by the English waggon-horse of our own day. The fact of its being a moon is sufficiently obvious. The superstition connected with it has died out in England, and the moon has sometimes taken the shape of stars and similar ornaments and fancy patterns corresponding in principle to the developments of ornaments in other things of which the origin has ceased to be understood ; until in the jubilee year it came to be used as a kind of frame for the medallion of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen. But it remains obvious, on inspection of the series, that, in our time and country, objects supposed to be mere ornaments may be survivals of once potent charms. It is difficult to take up a bunch of charms and talk about them without something new cropping up in one's mind in their inter- pretation. I noticed this morning the resemblance between one of the charms of the Italian Cimaruta, which is a bunch of grapes, and a similar bunch of grapes worn round our own horses' necks. It may be that this symbol may date back to the time of the Romans, from whom both nations have taken it over indepen- dently.

Amongst the things which are held in Naples to be potent charms against the gettatura, i.e., the "Evil Eye", there are a cer- tain number of two-headed objects representing sometimes capri- cornuses, sometimes mermaids or sirens, or beasts going into two fish-tails at the sides. Of these comparatively modern silver charms specimens are exhibited, and with them an ancient Italian bronze double-headed beast, which is suspended in the middle, and intended to be worn in the same way as the others. It is perhaps 2,000, or I may say 2,500 years old ; but between the very ancient and the comparaively modern ornaments I have, as yet, been unable to trace any hnks, nor, indeed, to discover the original motive which started this peculiar variety of protective charm on its long but obscure course.

394 General Theory and Classification Section.


Mr. Leland said he was able to give the most perfect explanation about the " Witches' Ladder"'. A black hen must be taken and every feather plucked one by one, to be tied up in a string. With every feather as it vv^as stuck in a curse was uttered, and thus the Ghirlanda was made. He knew a story of a child having been killed by one eight years ago. The most important part in connection with the matter was to make -a. facsimile of the black hen in wool or cotton, to be stuck full of pins. An incantation was also put inside the hen, and they were sometimes carried into chapels for the incantation to be repeated. In the case of children who could not say the incantation themselves some other person was to do it for them. Instead of onions, oranges and lemons were used in Italy.


It is, of course, a commonplace that as observation of facts becomes more careful and more wary of controversial bias, it is likely to reveal more and more of the unexpected, and to overturn some inferences which had been previously taken for granted. And this must be especially the case where attempts are made to un- ravel the meaning of folk-lore, which represents a mental condition so far from the modern civilised standpoint.

This must be my excuse for venturing, as an outsider, to bring forward some queries suggested by recent writing on the subject, the first of which could hardly, till now, have been asked with hope of profitable result.

In accounts of savage superstition a traditional bias has for long reigned supreme. Has it not been generally succeeded by an opposite one ? Are we not inevitably more or less under the sway of reaction from discredited assumptions ? If so, it may well be that the work, of which Dr. Tylor's Primitive Culture was such an epoch-making example, may, itself, prove the introduction to a third way of approaching the subject, in great measure owing to such labours as his, and daily becoming not only more possible but, more frequently adopted. This, of course, would neither be a reversion nor a revulsion, but simply a development.

Of the first method of interpretation (if it merits that name at all) any and every missionary record up to fifteen, or even ten, years ago will furnish endless examples; and, indeed, so would any ordinary traveller's report. Of the second, representing the re- action from this (as its misleading glosses become glaringly evident), there are also on all sides abundant instances. But the point is to ask whether some recent writing on the subject does not give ground for the hope that we may be entering on a virtually fresh phase of inquiry on the earlier stages of the growth of human intelligence, and one likely to yield important results. If so, it is

396 General Theory and Classification Section.

needless to urge that social, and especially educational, questions may be vitally affected by researches which now seem remote from practical outcome in that direction.

I venture, therefore, to point first to Dr. Codrington's Melane- sians as a striking example of the pregnant change which is pass- ing over the observer of contemporary savage life. We have here a masterly study of the ideas which underlie such life — so far as we can as yet enter into them, — wisely beginning with misgivings, warnings, qualifications too rarely considered necessary either by the orthodox or the heterodox observer. And the following observations have had the great privilege of the author's own invaluable comments and corrections in a private letter.^

Dr. Codrington points out that even systematic inquiries are liable to be made too soon, after which all observations are likely to be made to fit into an early scheme of belief And a man may speak a native language every day for years and yet make mistakes. "Pigeon-English" is sure to come in; e.g., a dancing-club is a devil-stick, though the Melanesian mind is innocent of the notion of a devil. He goes on to observe that "the most intelligent travellers and naval officers pass their short period of observation in this atmosphere of confusion".^ And we are reminded that "besides, everyone, missionary and visitor, carries with him some preconceived ideas; he expects to see idols, and he sees them; images are labelled idols in museums whose makers carved them

for amusement It is extremely difficult for anyone to

begin inquiries without some prepossessions, which, even if he can communicate with the natives in their own language, affects his conception of the meaning of the answers he receives. The ques- tions he puts guide the native to the answer he thinks he ought to give. The native, with very vague beliefs and notions floating in cloudy solution in his mind, finds in the questions of the European a thread on which these will precipitate themselves, and, without any intention to deceive, avails himself of the opportunity to clear his own mind while he satisfies the questioner. "^ We are thus introduced to an extremely interesting account of what in Melanesia is called "Mana". And I have Dr. Codrington's own

' I am allowed to quote the following passage: — "With regard to the general danger of the ambiguous use of words it is not possible for me to express too strongly my agreement." - Pp. 117-8. ' P. 118.

Welby. — The Significance of Folk-lore. 397

approval in deprecating the use of the word " supernatural" with reference to it. He agrees that the uncultured mind has not acquired the idea which the modern civilised man expresses by Nature and the natural, and therefore knows nothing of a sup- posed world above nature, or superior to it. Thus what is believed in, according to this account (deducting what belongs to our own readings of experience) is simply unseen power which can be turned by man to his own benefit — as in the case of electricity or even wind. True that "Mana" is defined (as we define "will" and "mental energy") as altogether distinct from physical power, and then again Dr. Codrington explains, as "a power or influence not physical and in a way supernatural; but it shows itself in physical force or in any kind of power or excellence which a man possesses. This "Mana" is not fixed in anything, and can be conveyed in almost anything; but spirits, whether disembodied souls or super- natural beings, have it and can impart it; and it essentially belongs to personal beings to originate it, though it may act through the medium of water, or a stone, or a bone."i Once more; it "works to effect everything which is beyond the ordinary power of man outside the common process of nature-; it is present in the atmo- sphere of life, attaches itself to persons and to things, and is manifested by results which can only be ascribed to its operation. When one has got it he can use it and direct it, but its force may break forth at some new point; the presence of it is ascertained by proof. "^ How near this definition surely is to what we see at the exceptional crises of life when the ordinary energies are gathered up into a supreme effort ! "Thus", we are assured, "all conspicuous success is a proof that a man has 'Mana'; his influence depends on the impression made on the people's mind that he has it; he becomes a chief by virtue of it. Hence a man's power, though political or social in its character, is his 'Mana'; the word is natu- rally used in accordance with the native conception of the character of all power and influence as supernatural."*

Perhaps the word which would best express what is here meant is still to seek. Anyhow man is conceived as akin to all which moves. And this idea develops into tliat of beings full of this " Mana", but non-fleshly and called spirits; only, as Dr. Codrington, like Major Ellis, urges, "it is most important to distinguish between

1 p. 119. ^ Italics my own. * P. 119. 4 P. 120.

39^ General Theory and Classification Section.

spirits who are beings of an order higher than mankind, and the disembodied spirits of men, which have become, in the vulgar sense of the word, ghosts."^ He warns us that "from the neglect of this distinction great confusion and misunderstanding arise".^

But the anecdote that follows gives us a key which till now has surely been somewhat neglected. A certain chief, we read, "told one of the first missionaries how he proposed to treat him. 'If you die first,' said he, 'I shall make you my god.' And the same Tuikilakila would sometimes say of himself, 'I am a god.' It is added that he believed it too; and his belief was surely correct. For it should be observed that the chief never said he was or should be a god, in English, but that he was or should be a ka/ou, in Fijian, and a ka/ou he no doubt became; that is to

  • say, on his decease his departed spirit was invoked and worshipped

as he knew it would be."" How many current versions of primi- tive belief may be shattered by this unsuspected difference ? How many such declarations have been taken for what we now call objective, when all the time the speaker may have meant what is now defined as the subjective?

Animism in the ordinary sense appears not to exist in Melanesia ; no spirit animates any natural object as the soul does a man.* A Vui or spirit has no form to be seen, and is apparently an intelli- gence, but can somehow be connected with a stone or other like object.^ But in order to communicate with such a spirit there must be two links: the natural object and a human person — nature and man ! Suppose we here call the spirit. Mind. Both are alike useful symbols, but have acquired a fictitious isolation and substance. "The native mind", observes Dr. Codrington, "aims high when it conceives a being who lives and thinks and knows and has power in nature without a gross body or even form; but it fails when it comes to deal with an individual being of such a nature."'^ There lies the key, I would suggest. Has not failure followed the attempt to translate the generic into the definite, the individual, the concrete? Yet more, has it not resulted from the desertion of what mayperhaps be called thedynamicmodeof concep- tion, identifying the meaning of life with its functions and activities, and linking these with all natural forms of energy ? This seems,

1 P. I»0. - P. 111. ^ P. III.

  • P. iij. ' P, 141. ^ P. 152.

Welby. — Tlie Significance of Folk-lore. 399

by a sort of intellectual degeneration, to have been succeeded by a static type of thought, giving us a world of shadowy replicas of substantial objects. But, surely, as the earliest traceable form of language was mainly an expression of function rather than struc- ture, of activities rather than substances, so the earliest stage of thought would share the same character. A being without sub- stantial body, or even form, would simply be a moving force in nature, or life, or man. And this would be widely different from the complex conceptions of personality, or self-consciousness, which we are apt to credit the early mind with transferring to natural objects or to supposed spectres.

These later conceptions are now undergoing a severe sifting. And the labours of physio-psychologists, alienists, and students of hypnotism threaten, however little they may establish, to under- mine much which has appeared till now impregnable. Who knows whether we may not end by finding that here also we have to revert, as well as to advance (as it were on a spiral course), to a dynamic, instead of a static, view of the world, and again enthrone motion as at once the primary and the ultimate fact ?

Take "spirit", meaning breath. This needs a book to itself never yet written. But meanwhile even now it may be remarked that we use the words " a spirit" not merely to mean a form, or a being in the sense of shadow, or double, or phantom, but as in some sense a motive force or spring of energy. When we say that the whole spirit of a man's work is right or wholesome, that some example is inspiriting, that the practical spirit which ani- mates a given course of conduct will ensure success, our imagery is at least free from some misleading associations. And, after all, breath is first (like pulse) a rhythm.

But to return to " Mana". It is curiously utilised in what are called "ghost-shooters". A man, so to speak, puts his own hatred and will to injure (which he conveniently shelters under the neutral term " Mana") into a bit of bamboo, waits for his enemy, and lets it out upon him ; when, of course, the victim is stricken, probably to death, by the " shock" or " impression" thus made. A graphic story^ relates how, when the wrong man was thus nearly killed, he revived on being convinced of the mistake.

The author goes on to tell us that, " What that is which in life

> P. Z05.

400 General Theory and Classification Section.

abides with the body, and in death departs from it, and which, speaking of it in EngHsh, we call the soul, the natives find it very difficult to explain. Like people very much more advanced than themselves, they have not, in the first place, a perfectly clear con- ception of what it is ; and, in the second place, like other people, they use words to represent these conceptions which they acknow- ledge to be more or less figurative and inexact when the precise meaning of them is sought for."^ A tone like this is a positive relief after the cut-and-dry assurance with which we are so familiar. And why is the drift of existence, that which makes its force, its meaning, its value, expressed in terms of visible object ? Not always, it may be, because savages are even as much wedded to material analogies as we are, but because "thinking" to such minds "is like seeing", and thus must be expressed in visual terms as in one sense higher than the tactual or muscular dialects. And here Mr. Fison is quoted in the same sense. Strange that we should be so ready to credit the savage with the definite when we are so vague ourselves ! Again, take " Nunuai", " the abiding or recurrent impression" which, as we say, haunts us. This is reckoned " not a mere fancy ; it is real, but it has no form or substance".^ Thus the primitive thinker is in full accord with modern results ; such persistence is a ringing on the strongly- excited nerves; it is "actually" still "active", gradually dying away as the " clang" does. On page 269 a pertinent question is asked : " When an English ghost appears in the dead man's habit as he lived, is it thought to be his soul that appears ?"

But enough has been quoted to indicate what is meant. It is well to end such a helpful book with the story of Tagaro, who was tired of being asked pointless questions, and in such wise answered his literalist questioner as at last to bring about his untimely end, and so get rid of him and his inquiries. What a suggestive parable of civilised questioning of the primitive mind !

There remains, however, another recent utterance, not, indeed, on primitive theories in the rude or "savage" sense, but on the sources and character of some of the deepest and most subtle of human thinkings — those which we vaguely call Indian, or, even more broadly. Oriental — worthy of the most respectful attention and admiration.

= P. 147- I'. 151.

Welby. — The Significance of Folk-lore. 401

Sir Alfred Lyall, in his truly significant study of Natural Religion in India, defines the religion of which he treats as " moulded only by circumstances and feelings, and founded upon analogies drawn sometimes with ignorant simplicity, sometimes with great subtlety, from the operation of natural agencies and phenomena. . . . the religious feeling works by taking impres- sions or reflections, sometimes rough and grotesque, sometimes refined and artistic, from all that men hear, and feel, and see".i He tells us that in Hinduism this " can be seen growing ; that one can discern the earliest notions, rude and vague", ^ and "follow them upwards till they merge into allegory, mysticism, or abstract philosophical conceptions".^ He even thinks that in India we may trace " the development of natural into supernatural beliefs".*

This, of course, raises the unsolved question of the line between the two, and where the supernatural is supposed to supersede, to supplement, or simply to intensify, the natural ; also how far these terms apply respectively to the objective and the subjective. The bewildering ambiguities caused by the varying mental attitudes of those who use the words, create a real difficulty. Innumerable shades of meaning attach to them, while, unfortu- nately, there is a widespread tendency to suppose the contrary. We all think our own must be at once the true, the precise, and the most generally held meaning.

Let us, however, seek for the answer in the lecture itself Taking the current theory of dreams and ghosts as the sources of the earliest superstitions. Sir Alfred Lyall lays stress on fear as " a primordial affection of the human mind",^ and maintains that much unreasonable terror of the present day is " traceable back- ward to the times when our ancestors felt themselves to be surrounded by capricious or malignant beings. The fear of ghosts is the faint shadow still left on our imaginations by the universal belief of primitive folk that they were haunted by the spirits of the dead."* The value of Dr. Codrington's account of the distinctions made with regard to this even by the rude Mela- nesian mind^ is here evident. But next we get a specially valuable

1 P. 14-S. -P. 15. 3 P. 16.

'^ Ibid. 'P. 17. «P. 18.

' As also Major Ellis's report of its existence in West African tribes. (Ewe and Tshi-speaking Peofles:)


402 General Theory and Classification Section.

generalisation; that the underlying idea, the "essential characteris- tic" of ghosts i s that of returning (and therefore of resuscitation), as the French word revenant indicates. And the writer conjec- turally connects this with " the endless succession in Nature of Birth, Death, and Revival 'V by which last he must mean regene- ration. Then we come to the early recognition, not merely on a pre-scientific, but, in a sense, a pre-imaginative basis, of that oneness on the one hand of " physical" energies and on the other of the " energies" of what we so little as yet understand, and so vaguely call life, animation, vitality. " To man in his wild state the same life appears to stir in everything, in running water, in a tree, and in a creature ; it ends and disappears in everything at times, but it reappears again constantly, in shape, movement, and outward character so similar as to seem identical ; conveying the inference that something has gone and come again ; there is nothing around a savage to suggest that the animating principle of vitality suffers more than suspension or displacement. The analogy of Nature affords him no presumption that death means extinction, while his imagination supplies him with constant evidence to the contrary. "^ Yes, his "imagination"; not an illusive "fancy", leading him ever further from such facts as the unity of nature, the conservation of energy, the continuity of natural process, the unbroken succession of production and reproduction ; but an image-power which, even in its worst failures, is a genuine attempt to render, in pictorial form, impressions stamped upon the very "protist" in which all life alike had started, and constantly reinforced and enriched through the long evolutionary ascent in complexity.

Thus the term "life" itself, it is obvious, cannot indicate in early times so sharp a differentiation as in our highly specialised days, from the stir and movement seen in everything. The presumption is always that which we now call the persistence or conservation of energy ; while no bounds are set to its possible transformation. Sir A. Lyall then tells us that his conjecture is "that a great part of what is called animism — the tendency to discover human Hfe and agency in all moving things, whether waving trees or wandering beasts — begins with an ingrained con- viction that some new form or habitation must be provided for the

Welby. — TJie Significance of Folk-lore. 403

spirits of dead men"'; "that at the bottom of all these imaginary changes lies the belief in survival, the notion that death is transmi- gration".2 This needs to be connected with what he describes as "the habit of detecting human spirits everywhere".' That "habit" he considers to lead to the deification of humanity," "which is throughout so much the strongest element in the shaping of superstitious imagery that it gradually absorbs all other ele- ments".^ And is this not originally because man gathers up in the supremacy of his " brain-power" all that he himself observes and experiences ? And does he not thus realise on the emotional level the attraction of a human and divine gravitation, and dimly feel, that no more than the earth he lives on is he his own centre or his own pivot; but that his life is orbital and satellitic — though, of course, any such term must needs be taken in a simply symbolical sense? If so, what he is growing towards is the further realisation that such centre itself is but a unit in the vast universe of truth. " The origin of the divine species, the descent of the deities from man", will thus be interpreted as parallel to the idea of projection which underlay so much ancient thinking about the earth and the stars. Therein man thought that he had himself thrown off the " mental" lights which have lightened all mankind ; but at last he finds that he and all his doings and thinkings are in a true sense dependent on that very outside world which he had supposed to be dependent upon, and even produced by, the forces of this planet ; ex-citation, the call from without, is recognised as the secret of all his activities.

So we return to the conjecture " that the original bent or form of natural religion had been moulded upon the deep impression stamped on primitive minds by the perpetual death and re- appearance, or resuscitation, of animate things".^ And the lec- turer traces in the upper grades of Hinduism "the full growth and maturity of these primordial ideas". Here we come to something better than any mere analogy ; we get a far-reaching and carefully thought-out application of principles which lie deep in the constitution of nature. Assuming that "Brahma, the creative energy, is too remote and abstract an influence for popular worship",^ the writer looks upon Siva as representing what

' p. 24.

= p. 26.

  • P. 30.

■* Ibid.

'■ p. 32.

e p. 35-

7 Ibid.

8 P. 36. D D 2

404 General Theory and Classification Section.

he has "taken to be the eariiest and universal impression of Nature upon men — the impression of endless and pitiless changes".' Pitiless ? Only to that strange practical fallacy which is one of our most fatal obstacles to a valid optimism, the love of fixity ; the love of that Unchanging which is only another name for Death ; the cult of the static as the key to life which has to be replaced by the cult of the dynamic, if we would rightly interpret and apply even the facts which we collect or group under either term. Siva thus, according to Sir A. Lyall, " exhibits by images, emblems, and allegorical carvings the whole course and revolu- tion of Nature, the inexorable law of the alternate triumph of life and death — jiiorsjanua vita — the unending circle of indestructible animation".^ But beyond even this vast generalisation, " Vishnu, on the other hand, impersonates the higher evolution ; the up- ward tendency of the human spirit".' And these pregnant sugges- tions are summed up in the contention that " we thus find running through all Hinduism, first the belief in the migration of spirits when divorced from the body, next their deification, and latterly their identification with the supreme abstract divinities reappear again in various earthly forms ; so that there is a con- tinual passage to and fro between men and gods, gods and men. And thus we have the electric current of all-pervading divine energy completing its circle through diverse forms, until we reach the conception of all Nature being possessed by the divinity".* Here, as the lecturer shows us, we reach the limit of the doctrine of pantheism, which he takes to be the " intellectual climax of the evolution of natural religion". He puts first the adoration of innumerable spirits, and sees these gradually collected into main channels, running into anthropomorphic moulds, and yet further condensing into the Brahmanic Trinity. " And as all rivers end in the sea, so e\ery sign, symbol, figure, or active energy of divinity, is ultimately regarded as the outward expression" of a single universal divine potency"." At this point comes an important reminder: the writer disclaims the theory that "the deification of humanity accounts for all Hinduism ; for in India every visible presentation of force, everything that can harm or help mankind is worshipped, at first instinctively and directly,

1 P. 36. ' P. 36-7. 2 P. 37.

  • P. 39. = Ibid. 6 p 40

Welby. — The Significance of Folk-lore. 405

latterly as the token of divinity working behind the phenomenal veil".i How plain here, how obvious surely, is the connection of this feeling with our own sense of the wonder and the might of those inscrutable forces round us which science is everywhere investigating ; finding each, as she advances, the prelude or the indirect witness to another which may or may not as yet come within her experimental ken !

Once more we are pointed to the inherent sense of hereditary unity which Dr. Weissmann's theory has done so much to bring home to us, whatever the ultimate fate of his own view of the matter; it is suggested that "mourning in its original meaning partook largely of the nature of worship".^ The lecturer thinks that " the prayers were not for the dead man, but addressed to him ; that the funeral service was usually an offer or an attempt to do him service".-^ And with reference to the sacrificial aspect of this custom, he insists that, "according to the votary's concep- tion of the god, so is the intention and meaning of the sacrifice".* Here we come to a fact which might surely become (after due investigation and analysis on the comparative method) the sub- ject for another of those really deep interpretations of which we have in this lecture such helpful examples. "There is one world-wide and inveterate superstition belonging to the sacrificial class, of which we have many vestiges in India — it is the belief that a building can be made strong, can be prevented from falling, by burying alive some one, usually a child, under its foundations".^ Is it not worth while to ask — examining the facts by the light of such a question — whether this may not have been a hideously perverted attempt at expressing a primordial impulse, at embodying an organic (that is, a pre-intellectual) conviction, surviving to this day in the purely abstract imagery of the poet ? May it not have grown out of a fundamental instinct, that under or at the beginning of all which human intelligence can undertake to construct, life — indeed, growing life — must be found or must be placed ; that whatsoever is not founded on life must be founded on death, and must fall thus into irretrievable ruin ? Does this sound far-fetched ? Perhaps that may be because it is too near us to be rightly focussed yet. Still it may be that as yet such questions can more safely be asked than answered.

1 P. 40. " 1'. 42. ■' Ibid. * P. 44. - p. 47.

4o6 General Theory and Classification Section.

But the main currents of the deep-running stream which is touched in this lecture are on better-explored ground. "The identity of all divine energies underlying this incessant stir and semblance of life in the world is soon recognised by reflective minds ; the highest god as well as the lowest creature is a mere vessel of the Invisible Power ; the god is only a peculiar and extraordinary manifestation of that power ; the mysterious allegorical Trinity, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, at the summit of Hinduism, suggests and personifies its regular unchanging operation."^ Most truly there is a confession of the unity of " spirit" and " nature" and a reference of both to what lies beyond the planetary scale, which "is ingrained in the minds of all thoughtful persons"^ in some form perhaps more widely than in India alone, while there "the inner meaning lies everywhere close below the outward worship, and it comes out at the first serious question".^ May we not here ask whether in this wider sense such a " pantheism must be exclusively regarded as the absolutely " final stage in the fusion and combination of the multitude of forms and conceptions bred out of vagrant superstitions"?* If in one sense it is truly a last stage, may it not well prove, when transfigured in the light of that new world of knowledge now rising upon us in steadily increasing brilliancy, 3. first stage in the ascent of a reverence for the divinely natural and the naturally divine which is but waiting for a real and living and universal recognition of God as Light ; as the very Abolition of Darkness and Unveiling of Truth and Good, which is, as we are, best rendered by a "personal" mode of expression which only fails by reason of lack and limit ? And in so far as he is conscious of these ever-brightening rays and beams of living Truth, well may the writer remind us that " every successive death does indeed interrupt consciousness ; but so does sleeps ; and end by venturing "to suggest that the upward striving of nature through the modifications of forms and species is reflected, as in a glass, darkly, by this vision of spiritual evolution", whatever its concomitant shortcomings. The " discovery that all nature is im- bued by one divine energy"^ may indeed be associated with much that is crude, that is fanciful, that fails to account for nature or life as we find them, or either to satisfy or refute the irrepressible

' P. 57- - P. 58. ■> in I. -> Ibid.

p. 60. '• p. 61. ■■ p. 62.

Welby. — The Significance of Polk-lore. 407

cravings of what we agree to call the highest types of mind. " Pan- theism" may even represent that most fatal of obstacles, the dead wall of a geocentric levelling down, like the outgrown idea that the suns in the sky were subordinate to this little lightless earth. But that one idea which is here indicated beneath it — the idea of continuity of link between all things at all times and in all places, continuity both simultaneous and successive ; the repudiation of all unfathom- able gulfs except in the one sense of distinction, not division ; the frank acceptance of ties with the most humble or despised of nature's forms and conditions of existence, that may surely prove, when we have learnt to assimilate it, the starting-point of an ascent so worthy and so fruitful of all good, that it is difficult to find a word with pure enough associations to define it with.

This line of thought, however, as no one can feel more strongly than myself, is dangerous if not futile, as at best essentially prema- ture. We have to earn and not to snatch result and reward. And the tangle of dead and decaying growths of theory with fungi of fallacy growing rankly upon them which surrounds us on every side, warns us at least not to add to the number and thus to hinder a healthier future harvest. They must be allowed time to form a fertile soil, and light and air must first be freely admitted.

But perhaps it may be wise sometimes to think of modern ethno- logical labours under the image of working a mine of exceeding and multifarious richness and immense depth and range. The machinery, the " plant" is magnificent and embodies all that science can suggest. But in one part of the mine the floor rings hollow to the footsteps of some less engrossed than others with the task of working it. May it be that this means an insecurity dan- gerous only if ignored and neglected ? May it be that yet below the great depth hollowed out there is a layer of air, or of water or of fire which needs dealing with before the work can safely now be prosecuted ? Or, on the other hand, may some yet richer treasure lie beneath ? Whatever form in which we put these queries, it is at least a matter of rejoicing, because of hopeful augury for the future, that there should be a manifest increase among our ablest thinkers of the tendency to look deeper than has generally been the case till lately for answers to the most vital of all the appeals and problems of human life.


SiNHAi,ESE Folk-lore is a vague title, but it is my intention here only to indicate the existence of some principal branches, in which the student will find the largest amount of material, drawing attention to their general features. I shall almost omit the mythological and magical sections, as opening altogether too wide a field for the scope of my present notes.

One of the most important branches of folk-lore amongst the Sinhalese is a large class of " Nursery Rhymes", which I am collecting and editing, and which were hitherto unknown to science. I use the word science advisedly : the study of these is a deeply scientific matter, whether we treat it from the philological or mythical standpoint. It is not child's-play to us.

Another branch is afforded by a large number of proverbs, which were rather exhaustively collected and edited in Sinhalese, by a Sinhalese author, many years ago. A selection from this book, unfortunately without acknowledgment or reference, was published in English by Mudliyar de Zoysa, in the Proc. R. A. S. Ceylon. This selection is judicious, typical, and well edited ; it is unnecessary, therefore, for me to revert again to this branch of my subject. I am myself preparing an English edition of the whole collection.

A third branch consists of certain folk-tales, related in prose ; but the extraordinary love of verse, and existence of almost countless songs and verses amongst the peasantry, have caused these prose tales to assume comparatively little importance in Ceylon. I shall, however, revert to them.

Fourthly, in the mythological ballads of the Sinhalese, folk-lore lurks everywhere, however much obscured by the redundant

^ Owing to the absence of Mr. Nevill in Ceylon, it was impossible to get back a proof from him in time for press. Prof. Rhys Davids has been kird enough lo correct the proofs for press.

Nevill. — Sinhalese Folk-lore. 409

diction of the poet or verse-monger. The catalogue of this section of my Hbrary, with over 500 ballads, etc., is now being drawn up by me, and will fitly precede any general or detailed notice of the ballads.

I therefore make no further reference to the section here than is needed to record